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.
Tickets are on sale NOW for our huge opening Guinness Pro 12 fixture of the season against Glasgow Warriors - and we've frozen match ticket prices this season so watching top-class rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park is affordable to all!
Impressive Cardiff Blues pushed English powerhouse side Leicester Tigers all the way with an hugely encouraging performance as final preparations for the new Guinness PRO12 season continued at Welford Road.