PRINCIPALITY PREMIERSHIP EAST
PONTYPRIDD .............. 26 CROSS KEYS ............... 12
A QUIET opening to the match was resolved courtesy of a jinking run by Ponty full back Geraint Walsh that set up excellent field position and when the ball was passed wide, flanker Rhys Shellard barged his way over for a try in the corner.
Ponty’s lineout drive was now proving to be a very useful weapon and saw the home side camped on the Keys’ line but for all the possession and pressure only a close range Diggy Bird penalty troubling the scoreboard operator.
From the restart Ponty centres Garyn Smith and Dafydd Lockyer combined to send Diggy Bird racing over from 25m out, the outside half then getting up to convert his own try.
With Ponty pressing for another try, Cross Keys wing Matthew Powell was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on, the home side opting for a kick into the corner but unable to protect the ball and yielding a turnover.
With no further scores registered, Ponty went in at the break 15-0 ahead.
With the first attack of the second half, Keys were again penalised and Diggy Bird kicked a long range penalty to increase the home lead.
An outstanding 50m break by wing Dale Stuckey set up Ponty’s next try as Chris Dicomidis was up in support to pass on to Morgan Sieniawski who scored out wide, finishing off the best move of the match.
With what seemed the visitors first concerted attack to Ponty’s try line, flanker Taine Basham scored a try in the corner.
Cross Keys were reduced to 14 men for the second time in the match when outside half Corey Shepherd infringed at the breakdown.
From the resultant penalty Ponty replacement Ceri Sweeney easily slotted the ball between the posts.
Ponty were now hunting the bonus point score but it would be Cross Keys who finished the stronger, claiming the final try of the match as centre Leon Andrews grounded the ball out wide with full back Josh Prosser converting the score.
The home side had one last attack but when it came to nothing replacement Ceri Sweeney let his frustration show and was sin binned for dissent.
With Ponty failing to claim another try, they settled for a 26-12 victory in a match which was slow to start and barely hit the heights, but was lit up by the one quality break by Dale Stuckey.