Tries by James Davies and Gareth Hopkins.
Conversions by Morgan Davies (2).
Tries by Marcus Jones (2), Lewis Ball, Jordan Thomas, Aaron Quick, Scott Matthews, Geraint Walsh, Owain Leonard, Curtis Gregory and Pat Lewis.
Conversions by Kieran Meek (4) and Matthew Lewis (2).
Pooler’s ease to comfortable win over battling Beddau
Pontypool recorded their 60th consecutive league victory on Saturday with a ten-try triumph over Beddau at Mount Pleasant Park on dull, damp and overcast winter’s afternoon, writes Ray Ruddick.As a contest, it was over by half time as Pooler went into the break 31-0 up, but Beddau battled on, never gave up and scored two good tries in the second period.
Pontypool kicked off attacking the changing rooms end of the ground, playing down the slope. Pooler scored their first try as early as the third minute as the visiting pack showed their power with a driving lineout on Pooler’s right and hooker Lewis Ball scored in the corner. The conversion failed (5-0).Nine minutes later Pooler were on the attack on Beddau’s 22.The ball was released and went left, going through several pairs of hands before wing Jordan Thomas squeezed in the corner for a try.This score was superbly converted by outside half Kieran Meek from wide out (12-0).In the 18th minute, good inter-passing between forwards and backs resulted in a well-worked try by scrum half Aaron Quick, who was making his 149th league and cup appearance for Pontypool. Kieran Meek added the extras (19-0).
In the 23rd minute Pontypool kicked deep into the home 22 for right wing Marcus Jones to chase. He managed to gather the loose ball and scored his side’s bonus-point try in the right corner. The conversion went wide (24-0).Eleven minutes later Pooler loose head prop Aaron Coundley was, perhaps a little harshly, shown the yellow card for an alleged high tackle. A minute later Pooler responded well when centre Pat Lewis kicked through into space behind the Beddau defence.Marcus Jones gathered and ran round under the posts for a try which Kieran Meek converted (31-0).As the game was going into injury time at the end of the first half, Scott Evans replaced Ben Sparks for Pooler due to the yellow card. However, Evans is a specialist tight head and not loose head so, for the duration of the sin-binning, there were uncontested scrums. Half time score – Beddau 0 Pontypool 31.
In the third minute after the break, Beddau deservedly got on the scoreboard with a try by right wing James Davies, converted by outside half Morgan Davies (31-7).In the 54th minute Pontypool were on the offensive and, from a driving lineout near Beddau’s goal line on the visitors’ left, the Pooler pack drove their opponents back and flanker and captain Scott Matthews scored an unconverted try in the corner (36-7).On the hour mark, a great break by Pat Lewis tore through the home defence and put full back Geraint Walsh over for a try under the posts. Kieran Meek duly converted (43-7).Then Pontypool made wholesale changes – Matthew Lewis replaced Kieran Meek, Owain Leonard took over from Aaron Quick, Darren Hughes went on for Lewis Ball, Scott Evans replaced Craig Price at tight head prop and Scott Matthews made way for Ieuan Jones. Soon after, Beddau got their second try through left wing Gareth Hopkins, converted by Morgan Davies (43-14).
In the 69th minute a lovely break by the impressive Pontypool No 8 Ben Sparks made thirty metres and, a couple of passes later, replacement scrum half Owain Leonard scored a try under the posts which replacement outside half Matthew Lewis converted (50-14).With six minutes remaining, Pooler were on the attack again inside Beddau’s 22 when Pontypool registered another try through Curtis Gregory as the second row drove over from close range to the left of the posts.Matthew Lewis slotted the conversion (57-14).In the 77th minute Matthew Lewis made a good break and offloaded to Pat Lewis. The centre went on an arcing run and scored an unconverted try in the left corner. Final score – Beddau 14 Pontypool 62.
This was a good all round performance by Pontypool, maintaining their remarkable run of consistency, against a tenacious Beddau side that made Pontypool work throughout the game. However, Pooler march on and are still 11 points ahead of second placed Bargoed in the league table with the Rhymney Valley side having played one game fewer. However, the shock of the day was at Cross Keys when the home side pipped Bedwas 19-17 so Bedwas are now twenty points behind Pontypool with two games in hand.
Next Saturday Pontypool welcome Ystalyfera to Pontypool for another Specsavers WRU National Championship encounter, kick-off 2.30pm.
Pontypool: Geraint Walsh, Marcus Jones, Pat Lewis, Amosa Nove, Jordan Thomas, Kieran Meek (replaced by Matthew Lewis), Aaron Quick (replaced by Owain Leonard), Aaron Coundley, Lewis Ball (replaced by Darren Hughes), Craig Price (replaced by Scott Evans), Curtis Gregory, Rhys Clarke, Scott Matthews (replaced by Ieuan Jones), Adam Stratton, Ben Sparks.
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