On a glorious Sunday afternoon at The Wern, Merthyr, the Under 14's of the Heart of Wales and Pontypridd produced an excellent and exciting game of rugby, which was almost a carbon copy of their game at Pontypridd.
The HOW boys set about their task with earnest, and within 5 minutes of the start, Liam Jones (Aberdare) pounced on an error in the Pontypridd back line to open the scoring.
A couple of minutes later a long kick was chased well by the HOW half backs, resulting in scrum half Shaun Clarke (Aberdare) scoring a try that Alex Gwynne (Dowlais) converted.
A neck injury to HOW Hooker Scott Parry (Gwernyfed) after 10 minutes resulted in a 20minute delay in proceedings. Straight after the restart openside Flanker Jay Evans (Merthyr) found room down the blindside, to score in the corner.
HOW extended their lead to 22 points with a well worked try from Full Back Rhys Bow (Merthyr). The HOW forwards were so dominant that Pontypridd had rarely set a foot in their half of the field.
Just before the break a HOW player was sin binned, and this indiscretion was the turning point in the game.
From the start of the second half the Ponty players were much more aggressive and determined at the tackle area, and with their extra player took full advantage. Powerful No8 Johnathan Barnett was the pick of the Ponty side scoring an excellent hat-trick of tries, which Callum Wheeler converted 2 of, to bring the score to 22 -19, with around 5 minutes remaining.
A spark appeared in the HOW forwards and after some aggressive play outside half Tom Davies (Builth Wells) scored a try to take the score to 27 -19 and leaving Pontypridd to score twice to win the game with a few minutes left.
Pontypridd poured through on the HOW backline from the kick off and scored a well worked try in the corner through Oliver Smyth. HOW were on the ropes but managed to hold out for the remaining minutes to secure the win.
Both sets of players should be congratulated for the feast of rugby they produced.
Cardiff Blues launch the new Guinness PRO12 season next Sunday when we entertain Zebre Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park - and to celebrate the big kick-off we are offering a special ticket offer with Kids for a Quid for this fixture!
Rugby World Cup 2015 continues to grip the nation with over half a million local and international fans enjoying the Official Fanzones up and down the country to watch live matches and enjoy the excitement of the Tournament.
Cardiff Blues Rugby Camps will be back next month giving children right across our region the opportunity to participate in rugby during the holidays - and you can book NOW to avoid any disappointment!
Can't get tickets for the Rugby World Cup? Well now you won't have to miss a second of the action alongside passionate fans as we are running two special events so you can watch the big games with Cardiff Blues and in the company of some Welsh rugby legends!
Prop Sam Hobbs scored a dramatic injury time try - for the second successive season in Galway - as battling Cardiff Blues deservedly took home two bonus points from a pulsating Guinness PRO12 fixture with Connacht at The Sportsground.
New-look Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons served up an entertaining pre-season encounter as the visitors edged to victory as the countdown to the new Guinness PRO12 season continued at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.