The Blue & Blacks competed well at a cold and windy Sardis Road, coming from behind to take a well-deserved 13-12 lead into the half-time interval only to be edged out in a tense second half.Pontypridd fielded a battle-hardened team, led by Dale McIntosh, former Blue & Black Gerald Cox at prop, and Neil Boobyer and Jason Lewis together at centre after an early substitution.
But the Blue & Blacks had streetwise experience of their own in the shape of number 8, Darren Davies, and he led his young team-mates with gusto, taking the battle to the heart of the Ponty pack.With Owen Ruttley snapping at their heels, Gareth McCarthy returned to something like his best form.
To complete an encouraging afternoon Richard Jones and Liam Roberts gave several signs of better days ahead.Yet things looked grim early on as Richard Fussll crossed for a try in the corner in the fourth minute and Jason Pocock converted from the edge of touch. The Blue & Blacks hit back in great style and within six minutes had edged ahead.McCarthy kicked a penalty goal into the swirling wind from 30 metres and then led a sweeping breakout, carried on by Richard Jones for Elgan Jones to finish off the move for the try.In the 16th minute it could have been even better but a two-man overlap deep in the home 22 was wasted. McCarthy kicked a penalty goal to add to his conversion of the earlier try and at 13-7 the Blue & Blacks were going great guns.
They were pegged back in the 31st minute when a quickly taken free kick ended in a try for Lee Beach. Five minutes after the intervl Ponty struck again when Pocock converted his own try.A third McCarthy penalty goal reduced the rrears to 16-19 only for Boobyer to instigate an attack that resulted in a try for Matthew Nuthall. Pocock added a penalty goal to put Ponty two scores ahead.
The game ended with Cardiff retaining possession for several phases that failed to produce a consolation score but gave plenty of encouragment for the future.