Dewar Shield 2nd Phase - Last Eight
Venue: Llanrumney Playing Fields
Date: 8th of January, 2005.
In difficult conditions Pontypridd started the stronger and dominated possession with back rowers Sam Studley and Mathew Howells working tiredlessly as they maintained some impressive continuity. Following sustained pressure, Pontypridd eventually got their reward with a well taken try by livewire scrum half Rhys Downes (0-5).
The Ponty pack continued to harass their opponents not allowing the Cardiff side to display the fluent running game that had seen them unbeaten through the first half of the season. The territorial advantage continued although Cardiff managed to strike back against the run of play with an opportunist interception try by full back James Loxton, converted by centre Luke Fear (7-5). This spurred Cardiff on and prior to half time had a long period of pressure with the front row of Liam Usman, Carl Fish and Daniel Holliday all to the fore, however a combination of strong Ponty defence and loose Cardiff passes kept the half time scoreline at 7-5 to Cardiff.
The second half commenced with Ponty taking the game back to Cardiff, with both second rows, Rory Pitman and James Dunn, working like Trojans and carrying effectively, indeed a barnstorming Pitman run was brought down only centimetres from the goal line. However Cardiff began to use the elements far more wisely and from a good attacking position, the backline showed some excellent handling ability to put winger Nick McGowan away on the right. He still had much to do but sped away from the covering defence and stepped inside the full back for a magnificent try, converted by Fear (14-5).
If Cardiff thought that the game was safe they were very much mistaken as Ponty thundered back in typical fashion with the forwards, once again, playing with high intensity and admirable commitment in all aspects of the game. Indeed, the set-piece was particularly strong with prop Kyle Parry scrummaging effectively and a notable contributor in the loose. However Cardiff's defence stood firm with flanker Corey Hearne and Luke Fear putting in some impressive hits, and although Pontypridd crashed over for a late try, Cardiff were able to hang on for a 14-10 victory.
Despite the elements both sides deserved enormous credit for the skills and commitment on show; certainly with so many players from the Region involved at this stage of the Dewar Shield the talent pool available for the Blues South and North at U16 looks particularly strong and bodes well for the future."