AN EARLY ONSLAUGHT that saw Pontypridd score their bonus point winning fourth try inside quarter of an hour left Ebbw Vale reeling and unable to play their way back into the game, writes Peter Hughes.

It took little more than two minutes for the home side to open their account, wing, Dale Stuckey making the initial break to set up second row Chris Dicomidis for the touch -down, Two minutes later and it was full back Lloyd Rowland’s turn to score under the posts.

The steel men’s opportunity to strike back came in the ninth minute when Rhys Shellard slipped in his own 22 and was unable to gather a high ball, visiting scrum half Carl Lewis pouncing on it for the try.

Pontypridd’s third try came with under 13 minutes gone, the home pack driving to within three metres of the Ebbw Vale line for wing Dale Stuckey to dive over. Two minutes later the wing secured Ponty’s bonus point with a try in the corner.

While Stuckey was forced to leave the field with an injury immediately after scoring, his partner on the wing, Alex Webber crossed for try number five on the 20 minute mark.

The home side’s progress was slowed a little when, with 10 minutes of the half remaining, flanker Rhys Shellard saw yellow after not retreating 10 metres from a penalty and the halftime score remained 31 – 7 Try number 6 for the home side came quarter of an hour into the second half, prop Chris Phillips going over from short range. As the penalty tally for Ebbw Vale rose, referee Joy Neville of Ireland, the first female official to referee a Principality Premiership game. dispatched visiting wing Toby Fricker to the sin bin in the 65th minute.

Try number two for the visitors came with 10 minutes of the game remaining, replacement second row Owen Jones stealing the ball at a Pontypridd line out for full back Dan Haymond to squeeze in at the corner. It was the hosts who had the last word however, with a quickly taken penalty allowing centre Geraint Walsh to claim his side’s seventh try.

Pontypridd: L Rowlands; A Webber, G Walsh, D Lockyer (capt), D Stuckey (J Williams 17), D Bird (J Rees 72), W Evans (J Raikes 67), C Phillips (H Owen 67), H Dowden (G Jones 72), W Davies-King (J Elley 38), S Smallman (H Connolly 74), C Dicomidis, S Moore, R Shellard (S Edwards 75), M Sienkawski.

Scorers -Tries C Dicomidis, L Rowlands, D Stuckey (2)., A Webber, C Phillips, D Walsh; Cons: D Bird, J Rees.

Ebbw Vale: D Haymond; S Thomas (G Payne 65), S Majkic, D Franchi, T Fricker, L Dennett, C Lewis (D Babos 40), J Harries (R Jones 58), R Francis (R Jones 72), R Sevenoaks( J James 53), K Parker (O Jones 65), L Randall, R Clarke, R Kynes (capt) (J Davies 78), C Regan.

Scorers – Tries: C Lewis, D Haymond; Con: L Dennett.

Referee: Ms Joy Neville (IRFU) Ebbw Vale Man of the Match: Dan Haymond