Ulster Ravens 17-16 Pontypridd

10.12.2011  14:30
British & Irish Cup
Deramore Park

Pontypridd made a positive start to the game, driving hard into the home twenty-two, and rewarded with a penalty converted by Dean Gunter with just two minutes gone.

Claiming opposition line-out ball Ponty remained on top, running back at their opponents at every opportunity. Against the general run of play Ulster launched an opportunist counter at pace, full back Peter Nelson chasing down a kick through to score a try which outside half James McKinney converted.

Ponty were now labouring in their own half, conceding numerous penalties, one of which McKinney converted with twenty-five minutes gone. An outside break by centre Gavin Dacey gave Ponty some forward momentum, following up with a series of close range drives to the line culminating in a try claimed by prop Ken Knaggs

As Ulster displayed a tendency to infringe at the breakdown, their centre Chris Farrell was sin binned, and Gunter extending Ponty's lead with a penalty kicked on thirty-two minutes. The visitors finished the half strongly, a clever cross kick from Gunter inviting winger Mattew Nuthall to chase down and ground for a try, giving his team an interval advantage of 11pts to 16.

Ther second half progressed pretty much at a stalemate, Ponty initially keeping ball in hand to retain momentum, but then having to revert to stalwart defensive duties to keep Ulster at bay. The home side made significant headway into the Ponty twenty-two, but held up by the sheer  aggression of their opponents' tacklers.

The third quarter of the game had passed by score-less, but the deadlock broken as McKinney hoisted over a penalty for Ulster with sixty-six minutes gone. Ponty now attempted to run back at their opponents with replacement centre Dafydd Lockyer breaching the midfield gain line.

Ulster flanker Willie Faloon was sin binned for infringeing, but Dean Gunter missing the kickable penalty attempt that ensued. A tense finale was in the offing with Ponty holding back a series of home attacks but then guilty of poor kicking out of hand in response. As Ulster once more applied pressure, up stepped outside half James McKinney to cooly slot over a penalty from mid distance.

Going into injury time Ponty put up a last despairing effort to clinch the win, but were unable to achieve the neccessary momentum upfield, conceding to defeat by 17pts to 16.


15.Gareth Wyatt. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Gary Williams (Dafydd Lockyer). 11.Matthew Nuthall. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Lewis Jones (Rhys Downes).

1.Ken Knaggs. 2.Huw Dowden (Rhys Williams). 3.Pat Palmer. (Ryan Harford). 4.Cory Hill (Jake Thomas). 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Chris Dicomidis - cpt. 7.Wayne O'Connor (Tom Hetherington). 8.Dan Godfrey.

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