Wanderers Harry Trelawny taking on the Ponty defence.
Photographer: Alyn Humphreys
Glamorgan Wanderers 16
“We can have no complaints, the best side won” coach Richard Hodges announced to the squad after the Wanderers impressive run of victories was ended by an extremely powerful Pontypridd side.
On a grey afternoon at the memorial ground the crowd were entertained with a hard fought no holds barred contest sadly littered with numerous scrum offences which the officials found difficult to eradicate. The Wanderers began brightly probing the Pontypridd defence with a series of driving rucks. Aled James had an early penalty chance but his attempt went wide and it was the visitors who took the lead after 9 minutes with a well taken penalty from Neil Burnett. Their lead increased soon afterwards when after one of the many scrum offences Burnett landed a second penalty. The Wanderers registered their first score after 15 minutes when another scrum penalty allowed James to slot over a penalty. The home side started to get their game together and drove deep into Pontypridd territory. The visitors offended at a ruck and Gareth Alexander took a quick penalty and drove for the line. Pontypridd killed the ball at the subsequent ruck and referee James Jones sin-binned the two offenders at the same time resulting in Pontypridd being reduced to 13 men for the remainder of the half. James landed the penalty and the scores were level. The Wanderers tried to make their advantage count forcing the Ponty side into a series of ferocious defensive rucks as the game intensified. Ben Rose and Richard Thomas came close for the home side but the defence held firm. Eventually after 38 minutes Wanderers broke the deadlock. Charlie Johnson broke the midfield defence and Simon Rosser was on hand to round off a superb try. James converted. As the half entered injury time Pontypridd saw a penalty attempt hit the bar and they gathered the rebound to set up a series of rucks in the Wanderers 22. A chip over the top caught the defence flat footed and Adam Thomas crashed over to level the half time scores at 13-13.
The second half saw Pontypridd dominate possession and territory. Their forwards constantly driving into Wanderers territory only to find the Wanderers defence equal to the challenge. The Wanderers did take the lead with another penalty from Aled James but it was a rare incursion into the Ponty half. Neil Burnett had a penalty chance, from another scrum penalty, but his attempt went wide. The visitors brought on a number of experienced players in the last quarter and as the game entered its final stages the pressure on the Wanderers line finally told. A series of rucks and phase play stretched the defence to breaking point and Adam Thomas rounded off the move as he crossed in the corner for a well taken try. Burnett converted superbly from the touchline and the visitors had sealed a last minute victory which their second half performance warranted.
Author: Alyn Humphreys