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Match PreviewMatch Report
7 - 56 HT 0 - 28 Saturday 17th September 2022 / 2:30pm Kick Off
Referee: Elgan Williams (Cardiff)
Cross Keys RFC

Cross Keys RFC

Try by Ieuan Smith.

Conversion by Sam Berry.

Pontypool RFC

Pontypool RFC

Tries by Pat Lewis (2), Deon Smith, Sam Scarfe, Joel Mahoney, Mike Herbert, Ieuan Jones and a penalty try.

Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (6) and Joel Mahoney.

7 - 56 HT 0 - 28 Saturday 17th September 2022 / 2:30pm Kick Off
WRU Admiral National Championship
Referee: Elgan Williams (Cardiff)







Pooler ease to local derby victory

Pontypool travelled to Pandy Park to take on local rivals Cross Keys in the WRU Admiral National Championship and came away with a thumping victory thanks to an impressive all-round team performance, writes Ray Ruddick.

Prior to kick-off, a two-minute silence was observed in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, former Abertillery and Cross Keys second row Ray Gladwyn, one of Cross Keys’ oldest and most loyal supporters Lionel Horler and former Pontypool and Wales captain and British Lion Eddie Butler, who died in Peru in the early hours of Thursday 15th September.

Cross Keys kicked off attacking the clubhouse end of the ground on a fine, dry and sunny afternoon. The early exchanges were fairly even as both teams looked to gain the upper hand. In the 16th minute Pooler were on the attack inside Cross Keys’ 22 and outside-half Matthew Jarvis offloaded to left-wing Deon Smith, who ran behind the posts for a try, which Jarvis converted (0-7). Three minutes later Pooler won a lineout on their right, the ball went left and good inter-passing led to a try by centre Pat Lewis, converted by Jarvis (0-14). Less than two minutes later Lewis scored again in the left corner after some excellent handling with a move that started deep in Pooler territory. This score was superbly converted by Jarvis (0-21). Pontypool were now playing some entertaining rugby, giving the ball plenty of air and on the half-hour mark scored their bonus-point try to the left of the posts through busy young hooker Sam Scarfe. The dependable Jarvis added the extras. Half time score – Cross Keys 0 Pontypool 28.

Within two minutes of the second period, Cross Keys second row Brian Feeney was yellow-carded for dangerous play. Scarfe was then replaced by Peter Lloyd, who went to tight head and Tom Piper moved across to hooker. In the 46th minute Pooler had a scrum near the home goal line to the left of the uprights and when the Keys’ scrum buckled under the pressure, the referee had no hesitation but to award the visitors a penalty try (0-35). Ieuan Jones then replaced Cameron Regan in the back row and seven minutes later Kelvyn Williams made way for Sam Cochrane at loose head prop as Pontypool made a couple of replacements.

Pooler were in control of matters and in the 55th minute scored their sixth try of the afternoon through centre Joel Mahoney who touched down 15 metres in from the right corner. Jarvis slotted another two points (0-42). Eight minutes later Pooler second row Ashley Sweet left the field and he was replaced by the returning Regan and with 13 minutes remaining Jarvis was replaced by Owain Leonard who is normally a scrum half but he went into the centre and Mahoney moved to fly half.

In the 70th minute Jones made a telling break near Keys’ 22 and offloaded to the supporting Pooler skipper Mike Herbert for the flanker to score a try 15 metres in from the left corner. Mahoney took over the place-kicking duties and duly slotted the conversion (0-49). Three minutes later Mahoney, who seemed to injure himself when taking the conversion, was replaced by the returning Jarvis. With three minutes left on the clock, Jones took the ball at pace near Cross Keys’ 22 and after beating defenders, powered his way to his side’s final try of the afternoon when he touched down between the posts. Jarvis converted (0-56). However, in the final action of the game, play was near the visitors’ 22 and there was a mix-up in the Pontypool defence. Cross Keys took advantage when right-wing Ieuan Smith won the race to the touchdown. Outside-half Sam Berry converted to make the final score Cross Keys 7 Pontypool 56.

Pontypool ran out comfortable winners in the end having dominated the match. They looked dangerous at times with ball in hand and played with confidence. A big test for Pooler will be on Saturday when they welcome Neath to Pontypool Park for their first home game of the season, kick-off 2.30pm. This will be a clash of two unbeaten sides so it promises to be a cracker.

Cross Keys: Ben Murphy, Ieuan Smith, Adam Tetley, Corey Nicholls, Tyler Lewis, Sam Berry, Zach Bartlett, Aaron Dowse, Louis Tovey, Jake Wisnieski, Brian Feeney, Tom Lampard (captain), Will Gregory, Chris Johnsey and Gwion Jones. Replacements: Connall Couch, Connah Vaughan, Callum Hague, Finlay Reader and Rhys Meredith.

Pontypool: Huw Anderson, Mathew Powell, Pat Lewis, Joel Mahoney (replaced by the returning Matthew Jarvis), Deon Smith, Matthew Jarvis (replaced by Owain Leonard), Dan Babos, Kelvyn Williams (replaced by Sam Cochrane), Sam Scarfe (replaced by Peter Lloyd), Tom Piper, Adam Brown, Ashley Sweet (replaced by the returning Cameron Regan), Mike Herbert (captain), Callum Davies and Cameron Regan (replaced by Ieuan Jones).


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