Ponty’s first meaningful attack of the match forced a penalty award under the posts which outside half Ceri Sweeney easily converted. The home defenders were putting in some big hits to stem the Quins’ response, but the visitors eventually creating a blindside overlap for flanker Elis Lloyd to touch down out wide. Full back Aled Thomas converted the try from a difficult angle.
Chances were at a premium in an evenly contested first half with Carmarthen edging possession and territory, going close to scoring but hooker Rhodri Clancy losing hold of the ball on the line. With half time approaching Ponty broke from deep inside their own half and catching the visitors’ defence unorganised earned a penalty award at the breakdown with Ceri Sweeney making the most of the opportunity from mid distance as his kick sailed between the uprights.
There was still time for another attack from the home side and again Sweeney elected to kick for the posts, sending Ponty into the interval 9pts to 7 ahead.
Ponty got off to the worst possible start as the second period got underway as a strong Quins scrum close to the try line saw no8 Shaun Evans touchdown. Straight from the re-start home flanker Morgan Sieniawski gathered the high ball and broke through the opposition defence with debutant centre Alex Knott up in support to cross in the corner.
The frantic start to the second half continued when Ponty surrendered lineout ball close to their own line allowing Quins prop Javan Sebastian to barge over for a close range try.
Again from the re-start Ponty set up a good field position and just as they looked like threatening a score, Quins centre Nic Reynolds was sent off for a high tackle on replacement George Thomas in the shadow of the posts. Ceri Sweeney levelled the scores when he kicked the ensuing penalty.
With the match finely balanced and dominated by the referee’s whistle, Quins full back Aled Thomas kicked a long range penalty to edge his side back in front, now into the final quarter of a tense and feisty encounter.
With the Valley Commandos staring defeat in the face they laid siege to the Carmarthen try line in search of a winning score. Their patience finally paid off following a series of shunts as Morgan Sieniawski sniped down the blind-side from close range to score out-wide, Ceri Sweeney expertly converting from the touchline to edge Ponty back in front with barely four minutes remaining.
Ponty played smart rugby from the re-start to run down the clock, holding out for a hard earned 24pts to 20 victory.
15.Lloyd Rowlands. 14.Alex Webber (George Thomas). 13.Alex Knott. 12.Gary Williams. 11.Geraint Walsh. 10.Ceri Sweeney. 9.Joel Raikes (Harry Rumens).
1.Huw Owen (Tom Mably). 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Kieran Assiratti. 4.Sean Moore. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Morgan Sieniawski. 7.Rhys Shellard – cpt. 8.Hemi Barnes (Sion Edwards).
Tries: Knott (46); Sieniawski (76)
Con: Sweeney (77)
Pens: Sweeney (4, 33, 37, 55)
15.Aled Thomas. 14.Dale Ford. 13.Nic Reynolds. 12.Josh Batcup. 11.Morgan Griffiths (Dylan Morgans). 10.Jac Wilson. 9.Aron Hemmings (Lewys Millin).
1.Steff Thomas (Steffan Phillips). 2.Rhodri Clancy. 3.Javan Sebastian. 4.Josh Helps. 5.Haydn Pugh – cpt (Lee Taylor). 6.Shaun Jones. 7.Elis Lloyd. 8.Shaun Evans (Lawrence Reynolds).
Tries: Lloyd (15); Evans (44); Sebastian (50)
Con: Thomas (16)
Pen: Thomas (66)
Golden Bob man of the match: Gary Williams
WRU man of the match: Alex Knott
Referee: Ben Breakspear