Cardiff’s run of five defeats came to a dramatic end in a typical local derby against Pontypridd at Sardis Rd.
A crowd of over 3000 turned up to watch as the Blue & Blacks took the early initiative, keeping the ball in play for a full 6 minutes in the opening exchanges. Their reward was a penalty successfully landed by Gareth Davies.
Simon Humberstone and Davies exchanged penalties to keep the visitors ahead before the move of the match saw Cardiff extend their lead. From a set piece scrum near the opponents 10 metre line Davies put Steve Taylor through a gap. The wing had enough strength and power to break the cover tackles and find support from Jimmy Norris who scored near the posts, Davies added the extras.
Humberstone had three chances before half time for the home side to reduce the deficit, one of which he took but was wide with another and unlucky to hit the post with the other, a feat he was to repeat later in the game.
The visitors had been reduced to fourteen men for the start of the second half. Defending with reduced numbers inevitably leads to points for the opposition as was the case here. Adam Thomas scoring to level the scores following several thrusts up the guts of the defence.
That defence though was to be the bedrock of the result. The back three tackled anything in grey that came at them (until they changed shirts) and then they tackled anything in white. Owen Ruttley made several try scoring tackles, and the forwards had a real edge against a strong home pack, Dan Godfrey giving them the go forward, and the front five, whichever combination was on the field, giving the home scrum a torrid time.
When Ponty did get into a scoring position all they could muster was a Humberstone drop-goal, having hit the post with a penalty two minutes earlier. The Blue & Blacks were not here to play second fiddle, and the desire to win was obvious.
Substitute Scott Sneddon was given an opportunity to level the scores with a long range attempt. Amid the boos and whistles he kept a cool head to bring the scores level. Another attack from deep saw Cardiff nearly win the game, Norris breaking through only to be stopped short of the line.
Ponty had one more shot with time up they worked into the visitors half. Humberstone lined up a second drop-goal, but under pressure from Jamie Ringer and Tom Slater he pushed it wide and the referee blew for no side.
A pulsating and exciting encounter that everyone had enjoyed ended with honours even. Both sides though will think they should have been the victors. Next week it’s another away day for the Blue & Blacks as they take their first ever league trip to Tonmawr.