An early phase of Pontypridd pressure came to nothing, with Newbridge given a first opportunity to score against the run on play, but their outside half Neil Burnett off target with a long range penalty attempt.
Solid in the set pieces and eager to give the ball some width, Ponty were in the ascendancy and broke the deadlock through a Lewis K Williams penalty kicked with nine minutes gone. As Ponty continued to press, Newbridge set off on a snap counter instigated by Burnett and rounded off with a try for winger Ceri Young.
Pontypridd responded with a concerted advance into their opponents’ twenty-two, driving on from an attacking line out for lock Cory Hill to claim a touchdown which Williams converted.
Newbridge again gamely went on the offensive but Ponty robustly turning defence into attack as they took line out possession and spread the ball wide for wing Matthew Nuthall to cross for a try wide out. Ponty were kicking for territory and hitting the gain line in open play, their efforts rewarded as Lewis Williams hoisted over a penalty on the half hour mark.
A late repost by Newbridge gave outside half Burnett an opportunity to put over a penalty, but Pontypridd still looking good for their interval lead of 18pts to 8.
Ponty were quick off the mark as the second half got underway, Cory Hill setting off on a charge and putting Lewis Williams in for a try which he also converted from in front of the posts. Newbridge however were not ready to concede the game, Neil Burnett hoisting over two penalties each side of a concerted period of pressure. Lewis Williams responded with a penalty for Ponty, but the Gwent underdogs soon responding with another phase of pressure.
Newbridge kept pressing into their opponents’ twenty-two, a series of forward drives followed by a passing move which sent winger Ceri Young over for his second try, converted by Burnett.
A tense final quarter to the contest was in store, with Ponty looking nervous and unable to break out of their own half. A fired up Newbridge took full advantage of the situation, outside half Burnett firing over another penalty to narrow his side’s deficit to just four points.
It was all Newbridge as the game drew to a close, continuing to drive up to the Ponty line and kept at bay only by some desperate last ditch defending. Hold out however was what Pontypridd did, hanging on for a victory by 28pts to 24 and relieved to advance into the SWALEC Cup final.
15.Harley Thomson (Adam Thomas). 14.Owen Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Matthew Nuthall. 10.Lewis K Williams. 9.Lewis Jones (Rhys Downes).
1.James Howe. 2.Huw Dowden (Darran Harris). 3.Ken Knaggs (Pat Palmer). 4.Cory Hill. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 7.Tom Hetherington (Calum Thomas). 8.Dan Godfrey.
|Pontypridd: (18) 28||Newbridge: (8) 24|
|Tries: Hill (14); Nuthall (26); L. Williams (42)||Tries: Young (11,61)|
|Cons: L. Williams (14,42)||Con: Burnett (61)|
|Pens: L. Williams (9,30,57)||Pens: Burnett (40,47,52,75)|
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