Handling errors cost Cross Keys
3:02pm Sunday 22nd September 2013 in Sport
CROSS KEYS 11 PONTYPRIDD 28
A stream of basic handling errors cost Cross Keys dearly as they slumped to their first defeat of the season going down 11-28 to Pontypridd at Pandy Park,.
Each time Keys seemed to be poised to snap up a touchdown, they spoiled their chances with either a misdirected pass or a knock-on leaving players and supporters extremely frustrated.
In the end, Leon Andrews and his men could manage just one touchdown – promising flanker Scott Matthews bursting over in the corner from short range for a 51st minute try. Outside half Angus O’Brien was tested to the utmost as he tried to stave off his energetic Ponty “markers” although he did kick two penalty goals.
Lock Dan Hodge produced another top-notch performance up front while Andrews did his utmost to break through the visitors’ well-marshalled defence in a series of dangerous midfield bursts.
Pontypridd, last season’s Principality Premiership and Swalec Cup winners, established a bigger than expected half time lead of 13-3 when outside half Simon Humberstone crossed for an easy try, which he also converted, in the ninth minute of first half injury time. Humberstone also converted one of two second half tries by centre Gavin Dacey and he kicked three penalty goals to end with a personal tally of 18 points.
Cross Keys head coach Greg Woods said: “We made far too many basic errors and we didn’t deserve to win. We could not hold the ball long enough to score more tries. We played the territory game well and, at times, I thought we had Ponty on the rack but it was not enough. I was particularly disappointed that we seemed to switch off at a couple of crucial stages such as at the end of the first half.”
Pontypridd head coach Dale McIntosh said: “This was a hard game for us because Cross Keys got among us and negated a lot of our quality ball so we must give them credit for that. We still have quite a few areas in which we need to improve but I was pleased with the way our boys applied themselves. Once again, Cross Keys proved that they are a very good side and tough opponents with a good coaching set-up. I expect them to be a threat and fighting for honours at the end of the season.”
Cross Keys: A. Bramwell; E. Jones, L. Andrews, capt., A. James (P. Williams 61), N. Trowbridge; A. O’Brien, R. Dyer (R. James 57); R. Cornock (A. Lott 79), D. Hughes (G. Price 49), N. Buck (C. Gould 59), D. Hodge, O. Hodge (T. Lampard 54), R. Peebles (R. Tucker 61), S. Matthews and A. Powell.
Scorers: Try: S. Matthews (51 min); Pens: A. O’Brien (4 and 45 mins)
Pontypridd: G. Walsh; A. Summerhill, G. Dacey, D. Lockyear, M. Nuthall (G. Wyatt 58); S. Humberstone, T. Williams (Lloyd Williams 78); S. Williams (J. Howe 46), R. Williams (H. Dowden 63), K. Jenkins (L. Jones 76), C. Locke, C. Dicomidis, capt., J. Thomas (Lee Williams 70),W. O’Connor (T. Young 63) and D. Godfrey.
Scorers: Tries: S. Humberstone (40+9 min), G. Dacey ( 60 min and 80+ 8 min); Pens: Humberstone (19, 40+ 4 and 54 mins); Cons: Humberstone (2).
Referee: Neil Perkins (Llanharan)
Keys Star Choice: Leon Andrews