Cynon Valley - - RUGBY UNION -

PON­TYPRIDD .............. 45 EBBW VALE ................. 12

PON­TYPRIDD got off to the per­fect start as winger Dale Stuckey broke down the blind­side to set up Chris Di­co­midis who fin­ished off an ex­cel­lent open­ing phase of play with a touch­down, out­side half Diggy Bird con­vert­ing the score.

From the restart home cen­tre Ge­ri­ant Walsh sped through the Ebbw de­fence to feed full back Lloyd Rowlands who crossed for an­other Ponty try, which Bird again con­verted.

With Ponty look­ing dan­ger­ous out wide and on course for an­other try, Ebbw coun­tered up field and cap­i­talised on an er­ror to claim their first try as scrum half Carl Lewis scored out wide. Out­side half Lewis Den­nett then added the con­ver­sion from the touch­line.

The Ponty for­wards soon got in on the ac­tion to lay the plat­form for the next home try when wing Dale Stuckey touched down af­ter an ex­cel­lent lineout drive close to the Steel­men’s line.

The out­stand­ing open­ing from Ponty con­tin­ued straight from the restart which Chris Di­co­midis gath­ered to send Dale Stuckey rac­ing clear, launch­ing a chip and chase over the full back to com­plete his try dou­ble and claim­ing the early bonus-point score.

Ponty were dom­i­nant and the tries kept com­ing. This time winger Alex Web­ber stepped through the por­ous Ebbw de­fence to score un­der the posts with Diggy Bird eas­ily con­vert­ing from in front of the posts.

Dur­ing Ebbw’s first con­certed at­tack of the half, home flanker Rhys Shel­lard was sin-binned when he failed to re­treat from a quick tap penalty. The Steel­men could not take ad­van­tage nei­ther could Ponty re­tal­i­ate to end a half they dom­i­nated with some scin­til­lat­ing rugby to go in at the break 31-7 ahead.

Re­mark­ably it was a full 15 min­utes into a lowkey sec­ond pe­riod be­fore Ponty scored their next try.

Af­ter con­certed pres­sure on the visitors’ line, prop Chris Phillips bur­rowed over af­ter latch­ing onto a smart pass by scrum half Wayne Evans. Diggy Bird then ex­pertly con­verted the try from out wide.

The game had lost its spark with chances at a pre­mium, with Ebbw winger Toby Fricker in the mean­time sin binned for in­fring­ing at the break­down.

De­spite be­ing down to 14 men, Ebbw Vale worked the ball wide for full back Dan Hay­mond to score next to the cor­ner flag.

With the clock on 80 min­utes, it would be Ponty who de­servedly scored the last try of the match when Geraint Walsh rounded off a wide at­tack from a tap penalty with a try next to the posts which re­place­ment Jor­dan Rees con­verted.

With the ref­eree blow­ing for time straight af­ter the con­ver­sion it brought to an end a match in which Ponty’s dom­i­nant first-half dis­play en­sured a con­vinc­ing bonus-point 45-12 vic­tory.

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