Llanelli snatch dramatic late win at Sardis Road

Two tries in the final minutes saw Llanelli claim a spectacular Indigo Premiership comeback win over Pontypridd at Sardis Road.

In a contest of fluctuating fortunes, the West Walians surged into a 17-0 advantage before Ponty clawed their way back to lead 29-17 going into the final minutes.

But a young Llanelli side fought to the death and tries by back-rowers Nathan Hart and Jacob Lewis stunned Sardis Road to secure a second league win of the campaign in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Llanelli flew out of the blocks and after Josh Phillips put them on the scoreboard with a penalty inside the first minute, Jac Davies fed co-wing Ben Raivalitia for the opening touchdown on four minutes.

It got better quickly for the visitors when the ball was intercepted on halfway and Scarlets flanker Dan Davis was given a free run to the posts.

With Phillips converting to make it 17-0 after 13 minutes, Llanelli were in dreamland, but Ponty were always going to fire back.

And they did just that before the break with tries from replacement Dan Rotie and full-back Lloyd Rowlands bringing the hosts right back into it.

Picking up where they left off at the end of the half, Ponty continued to press early in the second half and were rewarded with a third try from prop Tom Harper.

A Joe Scrivens penalty extended the lead to 22-17 and when replacement Morgan Bosanko, who had only been on the field a few minutes, finished off a move for Ponty’s bonus-point score, there appeared no way back for Llanelli.

Not so.

In an incredible finale, Hart (pictured) pounced for a try converted by Phillips, then with the clock in the red and Ponty down to 14 men following the sin-binning of James Little, Llanelli struck the killer blow.

A penalty on halfway saw Llanelli enter Ponty territory again, the hosts found themselves down to 13 men when hooker Ryan Spriggs saw yellow, then Llanelli took a tap in search of the winning score.

Eventually it was replacement Lewis who found his way over the whitewash with young fly-half Phillips holding his nerve to nail the match-winning conversion.

“It was a fantastic win for us,” said head coach Phil John. “It was great that the boys played to the death there.

“We started well, but I felt we took our foot off the gas for the middle 40, gave away some silly penalties and Ponty took advantage. But at the end, we managed to win a couple of penalties and that gave us the opportunity to score those late tries.

“I felt the mix in our game was good today, we took the right options – ran it when we needed to and kicked when we needed to kick. It is about building on this now.”