Ponty were quick off the mark, almost making an early breakthrough as centre Gavin Dacey went close to scoring. Keeping up pressure in the visitors’ twenty-two, Ponty were rewarded as lock Chris Martenko barged over for a try with just two minutes gone, the score converted by Dean Gunter. Capitalising on their opponents’ errors, Ponty continued to press on, a quick tap penalty taken by Rhys Downes injecting pace into their attack.
After a Gunter penalty had rebounded off a post, Ponty made amends from a line out take, the ball moved slickly along the back line for Gavin Dacey to cross for a try.A dynamic break by centre Lee Thorne kept Ponty on the front foot, before Keys lock Ashley Sweet was sin binned for infringing, the home team underlining their dominance with a Dean Gunter penalty successfully converted. Cross Keys were enjoying a share of possession but getting short change out of a committed home defence. Awarded a penalty, Ponty elected to scrummage and sent no8 Nathan Strong crashing over for a try, converted by Gunter.
As Ponty hooker Leighton Davies was yellow carded, Cross Keys mounted a period of pressure, culminating in a drive to the line with hooker Lloyd Burns claiming a try, converted by full back Andrews. The interval scoreline reflected a physical contest in which Ponty had mostly gained superiority, and a points advantage of 22 – 7.
Playing against the Keys off-side tactics, Ponty continued to advance as the second period progressed, instigating a swift passing move which saw winger Lewis Williams going close to a score. A quick tap penalty gave the home team further impetus, the ball moved wide for centre Lee Thorne to cross for a try, with forty-six minutes gone.Keys in turn enjoyed a period of pressure, but having defended gallantly, Ponty struck back with a Dean Gunter penalty to extend their advantage.
The home team were making more of their attacking opportunities, with Strong, Dicomidis and Thorne breaching the gain line. As replacement scrum half Andrew Jenkins was sin binned, Ponty settled back into defensive mode as Keys remained fully competitive in a physical encounter. A Chris Clayton kick and chase saw Ponty advancing, but Keys striking back with a counter foray to send centre Matthew Pewtner over for a try, converted by Steve Woodward. Clayton was again the spearhead of Ponty’s attacks, going into the last ten minutes of a game that was by now blighted by injuries, infringements and the habitual whistling of the referee.
A strong surge by Keys winger Johnstone caused havoc in the home defence, but with the game degenerating into real end of season fare, the crowd responding with a slow hand clap. As the visitors finished strongly, and with home skipper Nathan Strong yellow carded, Cross Keys piled on the pressure for Chris Davies to claim a final touchdown, converted by Woodward with the last kick of the game.
So ended another season for Ponty, having put in a workmanlike performance to claim a bonus point victory by 30pts to 21.
15.Matthew Hutchings. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Gavin Dacey (Mike Davies). 12.Lee Thorne. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Rhys Downes (Andrew Jenkins).
1.Stuart Williams. 2.Leighton Davies (Huw Dowden). 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Chris Martenko. 5.Chris Dicomidis (Ryan Savage). 6.Geraint Lewis (Rhys Lloyd). 7.Wayne O’Connor (Gary Williams). 8.Nathan Strong – cpt.
“Golden Bob” man of the match – Lee Thorne