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Jones: Finally time to celebrate achievments

Sunday 21st May 2023

Head coach Leighton Jones admitted it was finally time to celebrate the achievements of the season after ending the campaign with a comprehensive victory over Ystalyfera.

There was something poetic about the sun shining down on Ynysdarren Park as Pontypool saw out the season in style with a 13-try blitz that blew ‘Fera away.

In a season that has delivered so much, there was no better ending to what Pooler produced on the final day of their season.

The cup and league double was already in the bag, as was promotion to the Indigo Premiership, so the only thing left to secure was the unbeaten record.

Scott Matthews got things off to the perfect start on two minutes with the opening try but the hosts weren’t going to let Pooler off easily and hit back through Josh Congreve.

Matthews edged Pooler back into the lead and that gave them the confidence to find their rhythm. Matthew Jarvis, Ieuan Jones and Darren Hughes all touched down within minutes of each other.

The tries continued to flow with Duan Thomas, Pat Lewis and Dai Jones all diving over before the break.

It was the same script in the second half as Marcus Jones darted over within 22 seconds of the restart, and added a second five minutes later.

Dai Langdon came off the bench to add himself to the scoresheet followed by Mike Herbert and Lewis. Jarvis ended the game with nine conversions to his name.

It was the perfect send-off to cap off a remarkable season.

“We came down with a few injuries, we were to our bare bones but I thought the boys went out and played some nice rugby,” explained Jones.

“A pity it wasn’t at home but we couldn’t have asked for better weather or better support.

“The boys capped off the season with a good win.

“We’ve toned training down in the last couple of weeks because we’ve been playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday.

“But we have seen some of the moves we have practiced all year and they have come off.

“The rugby has stopped and it is probably time for everything to sink in and for the boys and the coaches to really enjoy the achievements we have managed this year and records we have broken.

“With the season running on as long as it has we’ve got a few off-field things we have to tie up so we haven’t fully switched off.

“With the turnaround we have got we are not going to have a massive down tools.

“The management group will get to have a week or two off and then we are back into it.”

Not only was it the final day of the season but it was also the final games for Darren Hughes and Tom Piper, who will both retire this summer, as well as Geraint Walsh’s 50th appearance.

Jones felt the squad used that as added inspiration to produce such a spectacular performance.

“Most weeks we’ve had something to focus on from within because there have been a lot of milestones this year and that was added motivation today for the boys," added Jones.

“To finish on a big win with Darren and Tom [retiring] and [Geraint] Walsh getting [50th appearance] milestone.

“I think the boys put in a good shift for them.”


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