Ponty suffer frustration of defeat at Ebbw
Despite advancing through an early maul, misplaced line-out throws and passes soon cost Ponty any initiative, the penalty count also rising against them, allowing Ebbw to dominate territory. It was the Steelmen who broke the deadlock, firstly through a Dan Haymond penalty then both wingers combining, Mike Powell forging a break and Aaron Grabham in support to cross wide out.
Ponty finally made their way into the home half, outside half Ben Jones firstly drilling through a kick then making a dynamic break to create momentum. A long period of pressure ensued, no8 Alun Lawrence going over but held up, then winger Morgan Richards failing to strike after receiving a floated pass. Earning penalty awards and with a series of five metre scrums to their advantage, Ponty still could not manufacture a score, Ben Jones crossing but the try disallowed, a stubborn Ebbw defence holding out to the interval with an 8pts to 0 advantage.
Ponty still looked ill at ease as the second period got underway, in what was overall a scrappy encounter. A kick and chase foray down the flank and a charge down of a clearance kick gave the visitors some momentum, Ebbw Vale holding firm in defence despite having flanker Dan Hill dispatched to the sin bin. Concerted pressure finally told for Ponty following a scrum and a wide attack, winger Morgan Richards going over for a try. The home team’s response was however emphatic, taking a quick tap penalty then driving to the line, lock Corey Talbot charging over with Dan Haymond adding the simple conversion.
Ponty now attempted to up their tempo with a series of attacks, applying pressure, but Ebbw battling in defence and seizing turnovers of possession. As the game drew towards its conclusion, Ponty were playing against the clock as well as a grimly determined home defence, and all too often undone by their own costly errors in attempting to salvage a result. That result was however put beyond doubt as full back Dan Haymond put over an injury time penalty to seal the Ebbw Vale victory by 18pts to 5.
15.Dan Haymond. 14.Aaron Grabham. 13.Paul King. 12.Dom Franchi. 11.Mike Powell. 10.Ryan Evans. 9.Matthew Flanagan (Dai Jones).
1.Ross Davies (Luke Garrett). 2.David Whiting. 3.Rob Sevenoaks. 4.Corey Talbot. 5.Ashley Sweet – cpt. 6.Dan Hill. 7.Dawid Rubasniak. 8.Lewis Young.
Tries: Grabham (14); Talbot (59)
Con: Haymond (60)
Pens: Haymond (7, 80+1)
15.Corey Shephard. 14.Alex Webber. 13.Mason Grady. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Morgan Richards (Lloyd Rowlands). 10.Ben Jones (Diggy Bird). 9.Joel Raikes (Tom Rowlands).
1.Ben Stephens (Curtis Reynolds). 2.Rob Jones (Nathan Huish). 3.Morgan Bosanko (Curtis Hicks). 4.Sean Moore. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Kristian Parker (Lloyd Evans). 7.Sion Parry (Kyle Evans). 8.Alun Lawrence.
Try: Richards (55)
WRU Man of the Match: Dafydd Lockyer
Referee: Dewi Phillips