DIVISION THREE EAST CENTRAL A
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.