Pontypridd came out convincing winners of the 1st v 2nd battle at Sardis Road. The physical intensity of the first half was immense, and after Ponty dominated the early part of proceedings, Ebbw fought back tremendously, but missed three attempts at goal. Although Ponty showed more attacking ambition, they were badly let down by their line out, with Ashley Sweet, Cameron Regan, Rhys Clarke and Damien Hudd wreaking havoc and stealing Ponty ball at will. In the loose, too, the Ebbw back row had the upper hand on the ground, regularly turning over their opponents or earning penalties as the ball was held illegally. Eventually, after 39 minutes, the scoreboard moved when Pontypridd captain Dafyyd Lockyer took the scoring pass to cross at the posts. Simon Humberstone goaled to give the home team a 7-0 half time lead.
After half time, Humberstone increased his team’s lead as Mr Hennessy penalised Ebbw’s increasingly desperate defending. At 13-0, Ebbw were still in it but, with 15 minutes to go, Ponty flanker Luke Crocker bagged his team’s second and Humberstone converted for 20-0. Ebbw defended superbly and tackled like demons, but offered very little in attack and only rarely threatened Ponty’s defence. The last word went to the home team when Lloyd Williams added their third try which Humberstone again improved. It finished 27-0.
With Carmarthen Quins and Cross Keys both winning, the pressure is on the Steelmen now for a play-off place. The coaches and players will be determined to start putting things right when Bridgend visit Eugene Cross Park on March 18th.
Dan Haymond Tom James, Nathan Preece, Adam Jones, Owen Williams; Dai Langdon, Rhys Downes; John Lavender, Rhys Francis, Rob Sevenoaks; Damien Hudd (capt), Ashley Sweet; RhysClarke, Cameron Regan, Gareth Williams. Bench: Ross Jones, Joe Franchi, Gethin Robinson, Gareth Rusby-Davies, Lewis Young, Dai Jones, Iain Smerdon, Tom Watkins.
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