Penalties: Kieran Meek (2)
Tries: David Griggs (1)
Conversions: Steff Williams (1)
Pooler’s good showing against Premiership outfit Aberavon
Pontypool welcomed Premiership club Aberavon to Pontypool Park for the second of three pre-season friendlies, writes Ray Ruddick. The game was played in heavy rain, making the ball difficult to handle and slippery underfoot – compare that to the weather last week when Pontypool Park was bathed in bright sunshine.
The Wizards kicked off playing down the slope and the early exchanges were even. It wasn’t until the 18th minute that the deadlock was broken when Aberavon were guilty of holding on inside their 22, in front of the posts and home full back Kieran Meek made no mistake with the shot at goal (3-0).
After 27 minutes Aberavon won their lineout inside Pooler’s 22. Visiting hooker Ieuan Davies took the ball and, with the help of his pack, drove towards the home goal line but was stopped just short of the whitewash. However the ball was recycled and open side flanker David Griggs crashed over for a try to the right of the posts. Outside half Steff Williams added the extras to make the score Pontypool 3 Aberavon 7 at the break.
Within seven minutes of the re-start, Aberavon were penalised for holding on in midfield on their 10 metre line and Kieran Meek slotted a good kick to bring the home side within one point of the Wizards (6-7). There was a quarter of an hour left to play when the visitors were penalised just inside their half to the left of the posts but Kieran Meek’s long attempt at goal went wide.
Pontypool played well throughout the game, particularly in the second half, but couldn’t get one more score which would have deservedly given them the spoils. Credit though to Aberavon for a good defensive display after Pontypool applied pressure for much of the second period.
This was a very good workout for Pooler who tried out many new players, showing good endeavour and commitment. Next Saturday Pontypool travel to Llynfi Road to take on Maesteg of Division One West Central – Pooler’s first visit to the Old Parish since October 2005 when they came away with a narrow 14-11 victory. Pontypool’s first Championship league game will be on Saturday 3rd September when Narberth make the long journey from Pembrokeshire to Pontypool Park. Both games kick-off at 2.30pm.
Pontypool (starting XV): Kieran Meek, Nathan Brooks, Dan Robinson, Brandon Kent, Rhodri Usher, Sam Mills, Dan Brooks, Aaron Coundley, Jamie Jeune (captain), Ollie Drake, Richard East, Curtis Gregory, Ashley Gibson, Gareth Rusby-Davies and Cameron Boycott. Also played: Sam Evans, Tomas Tippa, Alex Watkins, Matthew Thomas, Josh Haywood, Josh Reade, Luke Morgan, Matt McGovern, Srdan Majkic, Aaron Quick and Joe Popple.
Aberavon (starting XV): Richard Carter, David Evans, Rheon James, Matthew Jacobs, Matthew Jenkins, Steff Williams, Jacob Flynn, Jon Thomas, Ieuan Davies, Alex Jeffries, Sam Williams, Ben Jones, Rob Dudley-Jones, David Griggs and Ben Mayor-Davies.Also played: Dan Davies, David Pritchard, Mike Burgess, Rhys Forse, Gareth Harvey, Lee Purnell, Nathan Brown, Jacob Blackmore and Steff Andrews.