21 January 2018 / Club News

Match Report: Ferryside vs Pontardawe

20th January 2018


This was the return leg of this seasons fixtures for Ponty, having beaten Ferryside at home, way back in October in what was a very physical and robust match. The weather in the days leading up to and including the morning of the match had been very wet which had rendered the Ferryside pitch unplayable, so we were fortunate that Trimsaran were willing to host the game on their pitch which was in excellent condition considering. So many thanks to Trimsaran for their hospitality. 


Player availability was constrained, so team selection required a bit of jiggery pokery, with some players having to play in different positions than they have so far this season, but not in positions that they were unfamiliar with. We welcomed Jamie Cooper from Bryncoch RFC for his first game for the senior side on the left wing. Jamie a former Ponty youth player now living in Bryncoch, played under permit.


The WRU had asked for a minutes silence to be observed prior to kick off to mark the passing away earlier in the week of a local Nantgaredig District Representative too which I was unable to find out his name so my apologies for that. The referee Neil Howells from Maesteg was familiar to us having been the referee of the Cwmtwrch vs Ponty game two weeks earlier.    


Playing towards the Leisure Centre Ponty kicked off to the left hand corner and kept Ferryside pinned down there for much of the opening minutes. The first lineout was on Ferryside's 22 which was gathered and driven some 20 meters and nearly resulted in a try. The defence were penalised and Ponty choose a five metre out scrummage which unfortunately they lost against the head but nevertheless Ferryside were unable to gain much if any ground. It did seem inevitable that Ponty would score and the try did come some six minutes from the K.O. It came from open play in the Ferryside 22 with the ball being passed from the left hand side across the field to right for Mike Hanson to power his way over for a really good try in the corner which Callum converted with an excellent 22m on the touchline kick. 


Ponty gathered the restart kick to their left hand side well inside their 22 and Aaron Burford put a lovely distance touchline kick of some 30 metres to beyond the half way line. From the line out that followed the ball moved to the centre spot at which Ponty were awarded a penalty which Calum kicked for good field position some 10 metres from the Ferryside try line. Despite losing the ensuing lineout Ferryside knocked on and from the resulting scrummage No 8 Nigel Williams picked up and passed to Mike Hodges who today was playing at inside centre and coming at speed on a crash ball but uncharacteristically for him knocked on as did Carwyn Jenkins in a similar move soon after. Loads of try lines attacks followed and nice try eventually came when Nigel Williams went over close to the posts too which Callum comfortably converted. So with 12 minutes played Ponty were leading by 14 points to nil. 12 minutes later saw good field position gained from a penalty touchline kick and more ground won from the resulting line out and lots of good offloading and pick and gos thereafter resulting in a really good try scored by Jamie Jarrett in the left hand corner which went unconverted. Unfortunately Calum was injured in the play leading up to this try on the right hand side of the pitch and had to leave the field meaning our one and only substitute Lee Evans joining the game much earlier than would otherwise have been planned. 


On the half hour saw No7 Jamie Jarrett score a really classy individual try, starting from broken play he run all of 30 metres beating a few folk on the way to score not too far from the posts which Aaron Burford converted.  


So at half time the score was 0- 26 and the grey and miserable weather at the start of he game had blown over into a beautiful blue sky and sunny afternoon. 


The 3rd quarter of the game was much more of a contest albeit Ponty were on top. Good interplay by the Cherries backs and nice breaks took play to the Ferryside 

tryline and here they stayed for many phases of play choosing to run awarded penalties rather than kick. Some 15 minutes into the half Nigel Williams picked up from the back of the scrum passed to his scrum half who went in under the posts which was converted by Alan Burford.   


As the game moved into the final ten minutes the Ferryside pack turned up the pressure and pressed and pressed our forwards. It was tough and tiring for the Cherries front row but they remained resolute and at the end of the game no points were conceded. 


Well done what a performance, lots of retained possession and offloading. Good power play and yet again great tackling. The thinking that went into the Jiggery Pokered team sheet produced a well balanced team. It was particularly pleasing to see the No 8 and No 9 interaction work so well.

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