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Positively Ponty – bragging rights claimed in valleys derby

Despite the monsoon conditions at Sardis Road on Friday evening 22nd November, Pontypridd were on fire in claiming an emphatic 31pts to 7 win over valley rivals Merthyr, a result that projected them to second place in the Premiership table.

Ponty pretty much dominated the first hour of an abrasive contest to claim the derby match bragging rights and to avenge a cup defeat against the same opponents early in the season.

First half tries from open play by teenage backs Mason Grady and Morgan Richards, along with a forward drive touchdown by hooker Nathan Huish in the second period were just reward for Ponty’s efforts, with the goal kicking of outside half Diggy Bird adding crucial points.

The post-match response from the Ponty camp was justifiably up-beat.

Backs coach Paul Matthews was glowing in his assessment. “Finally, we were totally composed tonight” said Matthews. “We dominated the first hour in terms of territory and possession, we forced our opponents into committing errors and we were clinical in taking our chances. These are things we haven’t done consistently enough this season so far, but we came good tonight.

“Tactically we were very good – when you play a top team like Merthyr then you have to be at your best to get anything from the game, and we were.”

Man of the match Kristian Parker was also positive about the performance.”Physically, that was a brutal encounter, but we fronted up and our defensive work was crucial, we were lining them up to put them down and forced them into making mistakes.

“The forwards laid the platform and the backs finished off our opportunities, whilst Diggy just kept the scoreboard ticking over with his kicks. Overall I thought we were outstanding and this can be a turning point, a starting point to kick on for the rest of the season.”