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Neath RFC vs Pontypridd RFC

Fri 8th February 2019, 19:30, The Gnoll WRU Principality Premiership

On a cold but dry Friday evening, Ponty started well with the majority of possession , forcing Neath to make errors.

Ponty didn’t take long to get onto the score sheet with the first try by Ben Jones after quick hands after just 5 mins.  Conversion was missed by Sweeney.
From the restart , Ponty sustained quality possession with the forwards now dominant and hungry to get onto the score sheet.
At nine minutes forward pressure saw Rob Jones go over for a try. Conversion missed.
With their tails up, Ponty started on the rampage with Alun Lawrence leading a sustained rampage that force errors by Neath who were on the back foot . With the 3/4 putting phases together , the boys looked hungry to execute every opportunity to score.
With Neath defending and on the back foot , Ponty knocked the ball on with Neath awarded to scrum. Ponty turned the ball over and a free kick saw Sweeney kick for the corner.
Possession won at line out saw Rhod Jones send quick ball to the other hungry three quarters with a great burst by Daf Lockyer which saw Neath defend well and win possession of the ball, their nimble hands almost resulted in a try, but was cut short by the ever dependable Rhys Shellard.
Ponty won a penalty from the scrum for collapsing and another great phase by the unstoppable three quarters, saw a try by Alex “the postman” Webber in the 27th minute which was converted by Ceri Sweeney.
The play continued at a pace with sustained pressure from the Ponty three quarters providing great hands and swift passing which once again saw Alex Webber cross the line for his second try of the match and Ponty’s 4th providing us with the bonus point.  Conversion by Ceri Sweeney sees the score just before half time at 0-24.
Half Time – Neath 0 – 24 Pontypridd
The beginning of the second half sees much of the same play from Ponty, however, Ponty conceded a penalty for crossing.  Ponty managed to turn this ball over which resulted in a great break from Alex Knott, which concluded in a penalty to Ponty for not Neath not releasing after the tackle.
Ponty rung the changes at 50 mins with Huw Dowden replacing Rob Jones and Morgan Bosanko on for Joe Popple
The ever hungry Ponty squad kept pressing for tries which resulted in Shay Smallman scoring at 55 mins and converted by Sweeney taking the score to 0-31.
Further replacements were made at 57 minutes with Staff Jenkins replacing Rhod Jones.
Ponty pressure continued to force Neath errors with precise kicks from Sweeney pushing Ponty inside the Neath 22.
With the Ponty side clearly out for the W great hands saw an individual try by Rhys Shellard in the 61st minute with another solid conversion by Sweeney taking us to 0-38.
63rd minute saw Corey Domachowski replaced by Huw Owen and Daf Lockyer replaced by Lloyd Rowlands, followed in the 66th minute with  Diggy Bird replacing Ceri Sweeney and further replacements in the 68th minute saw the remainder of the bench on the field with Dai Francis replacing Joel Raikes and Lloyd Evans replacing Chris Dicomidis
Ponty upped the pressure forcing error after error on Neath and great charge down by Alun Lawrence saw a try in the 72nd minute which was converted by Diggy Bird taking the score to 0-45
Neath forever fighting got close to the Ponty try line, but a solid line held by the Ponty defence saw the All Blacks held up.
With the game ending Neath 0 – 45 Pontypridd, the score doesn’t reflect the great game of rugby between both teams.
Man of the Match – Alun Lawrence