Outstanding Llanelli Captain Craig Hawkins made his 100th appearance for the club, while another ‘gem’ from the village of Trimsaran, Dale Ford made his debut at barely 17 years of age. Despite media reports of injuries and unavailability, Ponty fielded a strong line-up ably led by Nathan Strong.
Craig Hawkins"Ripper the Skipper" who played his 100th match for Llanelli RFC
Ponty came flying out of the blocks, rattling up 10 points in as many minutes with a good try from young tight-head Pat Palmer converted by Dai Flannagan and a penalty from wing Kristian Baller. Llanelli’s modest reply was a couple of penalties from the dependable Luke Richards, who slotted two fine penalties out of the Sardis Road mud.
The second half started as the first, with Ponty ‘bossing’ the game for the first 10 minutes, scoring a try from loose-head prop Sam Hobbs and Dai Flannagan slotting a ‘gift’ penalty, giving them a 18-6 lead. After the initial Ponty burst, there were signs that Llanelli were getting stronger, which was no doubt helped when Ponty’s Rhys Lloyd was yellow carded in the 58th minute. Llanelli’s Dan Godfrey used the extra man dominance at the scrum to count, as he touched down from close range with Richards adding the conversion. Two minutes later, Llanelli looked odds on to score another push-over against the Ponty 7, but hooker Huw Dowden took a rare strike against the head and Ponty desperately cleared their line.
At 18-13 the game was in the balance, but with 6 minutes remaining, Llanelli’s poor indiscipline again cost them, as Dai Flannagan kicked a penalty from in front of the posts. Llanelli, for the second week were trying to make a late rally to clinch the win and to their credit, battled bravely to the end and probably got what they deserved as Luke Richards kicked his third penalty of the match to seal a losing bonus point.
With an intriguing 9 matches left to play in the Principality Premiership, the run-in starts on Tuesday evening against Ebbw Vale at Parc y Scarlets. Coaches Paul Fisher and Vernon Cooper, will again meticulously prepare their team knowing only too well, that in this league, if you don’t reach the required standards of performance, you lose.
Team15.Dan Newton14. Mike Davies13.Dale Ford..12.Matthew Brayley11.Nick Jones10.Luke Jones 9.Gareth Davies.1.ian Jones.2.Craig Hawkins© 3.Scott Roberts.4.Adam Powell.5.Aaron Shingler 6.Luke Jones.7.Simon Peters.8.Dan Godfrey16.Aled Hopkins.(56)17.Greg George.18.Shaun Hopkins 19.Arwel Davies.20.Matthew Gibson. 21.Matthew Jacobs(68). 22.Andrew Banfield.(56)
Half Time Pontypridd RFC 6-10 Llanelli RFC
Final……Pontypridd RFC 21-16 Llanelli RFC
Referee Nigel Whitehouse
Bedwas 33-14 Pontypool
Cardiff 25-19 Neath
Cross Keys 14-31 Aberavon
Ebbw Vale 3-27 Llandovery
Swansea 18-29 Newport
Bridgend v Glamorgan Wanderers (to played Sunday)
Next up for Llanelli RFC will be Ebbw Vale RFC in the Principality Premiership at Parc Y Scarlets on Tuesday 10th March Kick off 7:15pm.