Match Report – Pontypridd v Merthyr
Merthyr claimed the spoils in the Welsh Premiership Cup in a dramatic, high scoring contest at Sardis Road.
Despite tries from Liam Lloyd, Curtis Greenslade and Mitch Barnard, two tries from Dan Wall and scores for Craig Locke and Lloyd Rowlands against their former club saw Merthyr take the spoils north back up the A470.
The visitors opened the scoring with a penalty from Gareth Thompson, before fly-half Josh Phillips responded with three points of his own to level the scores.
Ponty picked up the first try of the afternoon after a loose box-kick from Merthyr, winger McCauley Rowley made the break in midfield before passing the ball inside fullback Liam Lloyd who scored under the posts, fly-half Phillips added the conversion.
Fly-half Thompson kicked his second penalty of the afternoon before the hosts added their second try through hooker Curtis Greenslade after a powerful rolling maul.
Merthyr responded with a rolling maul of their own with Dan Wall dotting down.
A series of cards followed by referee Ben Breakspear, following multiple off the ball incidents – Ponty centre Garyn Smith and Merthyr lock Craig Locke were sent to the sin-bin just before Ponty captain Kristian Parker joined them a few moments later after a high tackle in midfield which gave the visitors the man advantage.
After a couple of chances inside the 22, Wall crossed for his second of the afternoon from the maul, giving Merthyr the lead for the first time despite Thompson’s conversion going wide as Ponty trailed 18-17 at the interval.
HALF TIME – Pontypridd 17-18 Merthyr
Referee Breakspear handed out a fourth yellow card at the start of the second half, this one going to Merthyr captain Paddy McBride following a trip on Josh Phillips, the fly-half kicked the resulting penalty and Ponty regained the lead.
The momentum swung again as Merthyr crossed for their third try with lock Craig Locke crashing over, with Thompson kicking the simple conversion.
However, Ponty went back to the rolling maul for a second time as second row Mitch Barnard rumbled over, with Phillips adding the extra two points.
A yellow card followed for McCauley Rowley after an incident in the air, with Merthyr exploiting the extra man as winger Lloyd Rowlands returned to his former club with a try.
Despite a late surge for the hosts, Ponty couldn’t find a way to get the match winner as Merthyr progress to the next round of the cup.
Pontypridd’s attention will now turn back to the Welsh Premiership as they travel to the Gnoll to face Neath on Saturday September 30th.
FULL TIME – Pontypridd 27-30 Merthyr (23/9/2023)
Match report – Iestyn Thomas
15. Liam Lloyd. 14. McCauley Rowley. 13. Garyn Smith (Ceri Morris). 12. Ryan Wilkins. 11. Dale Stuckey. 10. Josh Phillips (Joseph Scrivens). 9. Harvey Nash (Joel Raikes).
1. Ben Stephens (Kian Mattravers). 2. Curtis Greenslade (Gavin Parry). 3. Tom Harper (Morgan Bosanko). 4. Mitch Barnard (Will Gregory). 5. Chris Dicomidis. 6. Macauley Cook. 7. Kristian Parker (c). 8. Joe Miles.
Subs: 16. Gavin Parry. 17. Kian Mattravers. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. Will Gregory. 20. Rob Jones. 21. Joel Raikes. 22. Joseph Scrivens. 23. Ceri Morris.
Tries: Liam Lloyd, Curtis Greenslade, Mitch Barnard
Conversions: Josh Phillips x 3
Penalties: Josh Phillips x 2
Yellow Cards: Garyn Smith, Kristian Parker, McCauley Rowley
15. Ben Jones. 14. Adam Hoskins. 13. Morgan Sieniawski. 12. Josh Lewis. 11. Lloyd Rowlands. 10. Gareth Thompson. 9. James Soanes.
1. Travis Hawkins. 2. Dan Wall. 3. Rhys Lewis. 4. Craig Locke. 5. Callum Bradbury. 6. Paddy McBride (c). 7. Lennon Greggains. 8. Ben Fry.
Subs: 16. Liam Wiggins. 17. Louis Jones. 18. Dave Whiting. 19. Tom Davies. 20. Sam Evans. 21. Ethan Lloyd. 22. Rhys Davies. 23. Morgan Meaclem.
Tries: Dan Wall x 2, Craig Locke, Lloyd Rowlands
Conversions: Gareth Thompson x 2
Penalties: Gareth Thompson x 2
Yellow Cards: Craig Locke, Paddy McBride
Referee: Ben Breakspear
Assistant referees: 1 – Simon Mills, 2 – Andrew Moule
Golden Bob Man of the Match: Josh Phillips
WRU Man of the Match: McCauley Rowley