Pontypridd 11 – 40 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders ran in seven tries at Sardis Road to ensure that they began their pre-season campaign in winning style.
After a slow start Ben Ward’s side found their rhythm and enjoyed the better of the match in both attack and defence in a match in which a number of new faces made their Ealing Trailfinders debuts against the reigning Welsh Premiership champions.
Pontypridd took charge of the opening stages and had the chance to open the scoring after they opted to kick an early penalty to the corner. They were unable to capitalise though as Carwyn Jones pinched their throw and Alex Davies cleared the danger.
Sweeney made amends a few moments later when he opted for the posts from another penalty and knocked over the opening points.
Ealing Trailfinders enjoyed their first foray into the Pontypridd half soon after and won a penalty that Tristan Roberts kicked to touch. They won the lineout, but Ponty intercepted and cleared.
The hosts continued to dominate possession and they grabbed the first try on 22 minutes. They won lineout ball close to the Ealing Trailfinders line and after the visitor’s defence stopped a number of attacks, wing Chris Clayton found space out wide to run home.
Ben Ward’s side hit back immediately when Tom Wheatcroft picked a strong line of Chris York’s shoulder to run home for a try that Davies converted. Ponty stretched their lead moments later though when Sweeney knocked over his second penalty of the day.
The scoring frenzy continued when less than a minute later George Porter bundled his way across the line. Davies converted again to give Ealing Trailfinders the lead for the first time in the match.
Arthur Ellis scored a typical effort; latching on to the back of a rolling maul after the pack had successfully won a lineout and then dropping over the line for the visitors’ third of the match that Davies again converted.
From then though neither team could add to the scoring as the match moved into the second half. Ponty centre Gary Williams knocked on with the Ealing Trailfinders line at his mercy, while Phil Chesters nearly capped a flowing move from the visitor’s backs, but was bundled into touch close to the line.
The match continued to open up as both sides swapped players around and Chesters twice broke through to run in two tries in two minutes, in both cases when he finished off swift quick counters from deep, with Davies converting both.
As the match wore down Joe Munro led another counter-attack and while Chris Kinloch was unable to finish off the move, from the resulting attack Alex Penny powered his way over the line, which along with Sam Stanley’s conversion capped an impressive performance.
Matthew Nuthall, Chris Clayton, Harry Millard, Gary Williams, Lewis Morgan, Ceri Sweeney, Joel Raikes; Chris Phillips, Ashleigh James, Keiron Jenkins, Jordan Sieniawski, Shaun O’Rourke, Jake Thomas (captain), Rhys Shellard, Hemi Barnes
Cody Baker, Bradley Coombes, Lewis K Williams, Lloyd Evans, Dan Godfrey, Wayne O’Connor, Shay Smallman, Rhys Cleverley, Jack Dando, Huw Dowden, Bradley Thyer
Will Harries, Callum Wilson, Danny Barnes, Tom Wheatcroft, Luke Daniels, Tristan Roberts, Alex Davies; George Porter, Alun Walker, Michael Holford, Carwyn Jones, Harrison Orr, Iain Grieve, Arthur Ellis, Chris York (captain)
Jamie Kilbane, Rhys Lawrence, Sam Rodman, Karl Gibson, Alex Penny, Alex Bradley, Danny Kenny, Tom Bliss, Sam Stanley, Phil Chesters, Joe Munro, Toby Berridge, Chris Kinloch, James Love
Tries (Clayton 18), Penalties (Sweeney 11, 23)
Tries (Wheatcroft 21, Porter 25, Ellis 33, Chesters 65, 66, Penny 74), Conversions (Davies 22, 26, 65, 66, Stanley 75)
Referee – Simon Rees