Bargoed 26 Pontypool 16
4:42pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Sport
IT HAD been a month since Pontypool’s previous game (at Narberth), so it was pleasing to see both sets of players run out at Bargoed Park for the first game of 2013.
Table-toppers Bargoed kicked off attacking the car park end and early on were penalised for side entry at a ruck in front of their posts, Pooler outside half Sam Mills stepping up to record the first points of the game.
Bargoed then went on the attack and pushed Pooler off their own scrum ball near Pooler’s goal line, which resulted in the referee awarding Bargoed a penalty try which was converted by outside half Josh Prosser.
Pontypool were then penalised for side entry and Prosser extended the home side’s lead with a successful kick.
A good break by visiting scrum half Tom Aviss in midfield produced a try for wing Will Hodnett, converted by Sam Mills to bring the scores level at 10-10.
Pooler were then guilty of tackling a player without the ball and Prosser put the home side back in front with a neatly struck penalty.
Bargoed returned to the attack and Pooler prop Josh Faletau was yellowcarded at a ruck near the visitors’ line.
Replacement prop Sam Cook went on temporarily in the Pooler side.
Fly half Prosser extended Bargoed’s lead with the resulting penalty to take them into the break 16-10 in front.
Early in the second half, the Rhymney Valley outfit were penalised in midfield but Mills was off target with an attempt at goal from the 10 metre line.
Bargoed soon put pressure on the Pontypool defence and they moved the ball wide for right wing Gareth Dare to score in the corner.
Pooler number 8 Jordan Williams hobbled off and was replaced by Ryan Thomas. Soon after the homesters were caught offside and Mills made no mistake with a penalty.
Aviss was then replaced by Josh Guy and Ben Parry went on for hooker Luke Palmer and Faletau made way for Sam Cook for Pontypool.
Bargoed were penalised for diving over and Mills slotted his third penalty of the afternoon to put Pooler within a score of their hosts at 21-16.
Bargoed flanker Gareth Davies was yellowcarded for an infringement at a ruck in midfield but the league leaders sealed their win with a try by replacement Chris Mapps wide out on the left from a long pass.
Elliott Goodman was replaced by Joe Blackmore late on for Pooler and near the end of the game Bargoed full back Andrew McLaughlan was sent off for an offence at a ruck in Pooler’s 22.
It was an encouraging performance by Pontypool after a long lay-off due to the weather. They showed plenty of endeavour and perhaps surprised Bargoed with their commitment and tenacity.
Well done also to referee Neil Perkins who had a good game.