Pontypridd 26-29 Pertemps Bees

22.8.2004  14:30
Pre-season Friendly
Sardis Road

Ponty were forced on to the back foot, defending against the Bees' forward charges early on. Pegged back deep in their own half, Ponty put in countless tackles to keep the visitors at bay. Following a torrid period in defence Ponty managed to break upfield, but failing to make any real impact in attack. The match remained scoreless with a quarter of an hour gone, both teams so far making too many errors in open play.


The deadlock was finally broken as Ponty thrust upfield, keeping the ball alive along their back line, for centre Tom Reilly to nip in for a try, converted by Jason Pocock. The home team now picked up some momentum, making inroads into the Bees twenty-two, but failing to dominate their own line out possession, and committing too many unforced errors in the loose. The Birmingham team responded with another  period of sustained pressure, but once more stopped short by a grimly determined home defence.


A fortuitous chip through finally foiled the Ponty cover, Bees centre Scott Williams pouncing for a try. Ponty struck back to end the first period with a phase of attack, laying siege to the visitors' line and eventually settling for a Jason Pocock penalty to give them an interval lead of 10pts to 5.


Both teams made numerous changes in personel at the half time break, and with Ponty drawing first blood through a long range penalty kicked by Jason Pocock. The Bees responded with a concerted offensive into the home half, a neat pop up pass sending centre Sean Woofe clear to the try line, the score converted by Tim Walshe. The game now looked to step up a gear, Ponty setting off on the attack, driving into the visitors' twenty-two, their play impeded by the Bees continued infringing, and a penalty try awarded, duly converted by Jason Pocock.


There were some feathers ruffled in the forward exchanges as both teams went at each other with serious intent, Ponty increasing their advantage through a Gethin Worgan penalty. The Bees always looked ominous in attack, driving relentlessly at the home midfield defence, their efforts rewarded as replacement Paul Knight cut loose for a try, now into the final quarter of the game.


Both teams now enjoyed periods of attack, the Bees using their bulk to power into the home ranks, Ponty in turn sniping away off turned over possession  to hit back on the counter offensive.  A majestically struck penalty from Gethin Worgan edged Ponty further into the lead, now with just eight minutes remaining. As Ponty continued to make changes off the bench, the Bees once more launched into a powerful foray upfield, gaining huge yardage with their forward drives, and rounded off with a try for prop Martin O'Keefe, converted by Tim Walshe.


A scrappy period of play ended with a lucky rebounded kick for the Bees, chased by outside half Tim Walshe to claim a vital score, with the game already into injury time. A gallant performance by a depleted Ponty squad just failed to reap its rewards, going down to a narrow defeat by 26pts to 29.

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