Cynon Valley - - RUGBY UNION -

PONTYCLUN ............... 39 CEFN COED ................. 15

A QUICK glance at the fi­nal score of this en­counter would lead one to be­lieve that it was a very com­fort­able win for Pontyclun.

How­ever, in re­al­ity, that was not the case as the visitors were very com­bat­ive for the whole 80 min­utes and in fact led by 10-3 early on.

Pontyclun took an early lead form a penalty by Nicky Theaker be­fore Luke Williams drew the visitors level from their first at­tempt at goal.

Cefn then set up good field po­si­tion with a penalty to touch which even­tu­ally led to a try from Rhys Davies, with Williams adding the ex­tras from the con­ver­sion.

The Badgers though bounced back im­me­di­ately with their first try which was set up by a neat grub­ber kick to the cor­ner by Rhys Mor­gan, al­low­ing full back Adam Lewis to gather and touch down.

An ex­cel­lent con­ver­sion from the touch­line by Theaker made it 10-10. Pontyclun then scored two fur­ther tries, both com­ing from flanker Dan Hem­mens.

The first was down to a sub­lime line break from Nicky Theaker and he off­loaded to Hem­mens to run in un­chal­lenged un­der the posts.

Rhys Mor­gan then set up Hem­mens’ sec­ond via an­other line break and Theaker booted over both con­ver­sions to take the score­line to 24-10 in favour of the hosts.

Cefn though showed their re­silience and se­cured their sec­ond try af­ter Luke Williams forced his way over wide out on the left, but his at­tempt at the con­ver­sion was pulled wide.

There was a lull in scor­ing un­til near to half-time, when Pontyclun were awarded a penalty some 40 me­tres out and Theaker, whose kick­ing has vastly im­proved this sea­son, struck it well to send the Badgers into the break lead­ing by 27-15.

Af­ter the restart, Cefn missed a very kick­able penalty be­fore Pontyclun stretched their lead, se­cur­ing a valu­able bonus point into the bar­gain.

At­tack­ing down the left, the ball ar­rived in the hands of winger Sam Davies. De­spite hav­ing no space in which to op­er­ate, he some­how man­aged to squeeze be­tween two de­fend­ers and touched down in the cor­ner. An­other mag­nif­i­cent strike from Theaker stretched the Ponty lead.

Luke Probyn then made way for Jo Williams, who was re­turn­ing from a lengthy spell out in­jured, be­fore ac­tion man Theaker was in ac­tion again.

This time it was in a de­fen­sive ca­pac­ity when he pre­vented a cer­tain Cefn score, with a last-ditch tackle on the far touch­line.

Davies then scored his sec­ond try of the match, again cre­at­ing space where none ex­isted but for the only time of the af­ter­noon, Theaker missed the tar­get with his con­ver­sion ef­fort.

Two more sub­sti­tu­tions fol­lowed for Pontyclun with Matthew Bartlett and Rhys Williams be­ing re­placed by Rhys Wil­liamsWay and Lloyd Rose.

Rose’s ap­pear­ance was short lived, how­ever, as ref­eree Si­mon Beard sent him to the sin bin for an ad­judged il­le­gal tackle.

Mean­while Cefn had a player off to a yel­low for per­sis­tent off­side so both sides were down to 14 at this junc­ture.

There was a bit of nig­gle creep­ing in be­tween both sets of for­wards as play ap­proached the fi­nal 10 min­utes or so but this was swiftly stamped on by Mr Beard, who en­joyed an ex­cel­lent match as ref­eree.

Jack Theaker left the field with Ryan Williams com­ing on and a fi­nal re­place­ment for Pontyclun saw youth player Ioan Davies mak­ing his first team de­but at the ex­pense of Gareth Hooke.

The last 10 min­utes saw no fur­ther score but the fre­netic ac­tion did not cease un­til Mr Beard blew the whis­tle af­ter a few min­utes of added on time.

So an ex­cel­lent bonus point vic­tory by the Badgers with the MOM award be­ing pre­sented to young flanker Dan Hem­mens at the post-match pre­sen­ta­tion.

The Badgers face an­other stern test this com­ing Satur­day when they travel to high fly­ing Peny­graig with the kick-off sched­uled for 12.45pm owing to the Wales v Aus­tralia match.

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