Ponty drop out of the Cup in a try-less thriller.
The Welsh Premiership Cup Quarter-Final fixture resembled everything you would expect from a cup tie. In the end, a tight, tough and rough affair saw Llandovery advance into the next round in very windy conditions.
The Drovers broke the deadlock in the 8th minute through Kristian Jones’ boot. The outside half went for points as Ponty were caught offside just inside their half.
Ten minutes later, Jones doubled his team’s lead, again from a penalty. This came from the Black and Whites – playing in Red and White today – being penalised in the line-out just outside their 22.
Pontypridd were still very much in the game, but failed to make the most of their half chances, as breaks from Jac Davies and Joe Miles were not capitalised on. Davies, who made his first start for Ponty in this game, was also almost put through by Cole Swannack but was unable to control his fullback’s offload.
In the meantime, Llandovery’s lead grew again, as Jones scored a third penalty around the half-hour mark.
Before half-time, it took Stuckey two attempts to put his team on the score board, as his first attempt drifted wide. But minutes later, from closer range, he was able to convert.
Half-Time: Llandovery 9-3 Pontypridd
Both sides were back with different intentions after the break. Ponty had the first chance, when Ceri Morris skipped his centres to put Cole Swannack into space. The full back strode through Llandovery’s defence and set Stuckey up for a great score in the corner… if not for Aaron Warren’s outstanding try saving tackle.
On the other end, Warren almost scored a try of his own. After piling it on to Ponty’s line, Llandovery decided to play it out to the blind side. Lee Rees spread it to Warren, who stretched his arm out in the corner but was unable to ground the ball without knocking it on.
Llandovery remained in Pontypridd’s 22 however and were awarded a penalty just minutes later, which Jones slotted once again. 12-3.
Despite Ponty not scoring first in the second half, they were putting the majority of the pressure on Llandovery, as the wind aided them in keeping the hosts in their own half. But phase after phase, and sequence after sequence, the Drovers held on.
Full-Time: Llandovery 12-3 Pontypridd
Match report – Zacharie Johnson-Pillon
15. Cole Swannack. 14. Jac Davies (Llywarch ap Myrddin). 13. Bradley Roderick. 12. Garyn Payne (Jake Lloyd). 11. Dale Stuckey. 10. Ceri Morris. 9. Dafydd Buckland (Joel Raikes).
1. Ben Stephens (Tom Devine). 2. Ieuan Morris (Jack Walker). 3. Tom Harper (Morgan Bosanko). 4. Kristian Parker ©. 5. Chris Dicomidis (Jack Pope). 6. Cally James. 7. Sion Parry (Cai James). 8. Joe Miles.
Subs: 16. Jack Walker. 17. Tom Devine. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. Jack Pope. 20. Cai James. 21. Joel Raikes. 22. Jake Lloyd. 23. Llywarch ap Myrddin
15. Will Thomas. 14. Callum Williams. 13. Rhodri Wall. 12. Craig Woodall. 11. Aaron Warren. 10. Kristian Jones. 9. Lee Rees.
1. Dino Dallavalle. 2. Jamie Cox. 3. Berian Watkins. 4. Jack Jones ©. 5. Griff Evans. 6. Osian Davies. 7. Stuart Worrall. 8. Iestyn Rees
Subs 16. Liam Tobias. 17. Craig Thomas. 18. Ricky Guest. 19. Marco Dallavalle. 20. Lloyd Pike. 21. Ashley Evans. 22. James Garland. 23. Dafydd Land
Penalties: Kristian Jones x 4
Referee: Simon Rees
Assistant referees: John Darcy and Wayne Davies