On a hugely emotional afternoon at the House of Pain, the home side bid McIntosh farewell with a gritty, gutsy, and impressive 29-22 victory against the fully professional Exiles.
McIntosh leaves his role as Pontypridd supremo to join the Cardiff Blues after a quarter of a century at the club as both a player and coach. The former Wales international's feelings for Pontypridd are clear to see and his players did him proud to grind out a victory which sees them in the box seat in Pool 2 of the cross border competition.
After a pre-match deluge had soaked the Sardis Road pitch, there were understandably plenty of errors in a first half which ended 8-7 in favour of the visitors. Former Pontypridd hero Sonny Parker had opened the scoring for London Welsh with ex Scotland fly half Gordon Ross kicking a penalty. Full back Geraint Walsh was Pontypridd's scorer, Simon Humberstone converting in a tight first 40 minutes.
The second half was hugely entertaining as both sides had their moments. In the end though, Pontypridd scored three more tries and Welsh could only manage two with one of those coming right at the death.
Forwards Ellis Jenkins, Chris Dicomidis and Macauley Cook all crossed for Pontypridd with Humberstone nailing two of the three conversions. Nick Scott and Seb Stegmann replied for Welsh but it was not enough.
After the Pontypridd squad had formed a tunnel for McIntosh to enter the pitch before kick-off, the game settled down with Welsh using their big pack and the boot of Ross to their advantage. Parker gave Justin Burnell's side what was probably a deserved lead by finishing off an overlap out wide but Ross' missed conversion kept their early advantage to five points.
Pontypridd then started to grow into the game and when Walsh replied, it was a score worth waiting for. A long cut out pass saw Dafydd Lockyer break through and put Matthew Nuthall into space. The Pontypridd winger escaped the defence and drew the full back to put Walsh in to score.
Humberstone converted to put his side into the lead for the first time though a sell-out crowd was beginning to get frustrated with the whistle of Irish referee Kieran Barry. The home side started to concede a number of penalties and in the 38th minute, Ross took advantage to send his side into the break ahead.
The second half started with two quick scores. Jenkins intercepted a loose pass from Parker and showed a decent turn of foot to make the line before Scott hit back straight away for Welsh with a well worked try. Ross succeeded where Humberstone had not by kicking the conversion and the Exiles led 15-12.
Welsh's advantage was then hindered when flanker Carl Kirwan was yellow carded and Pontypridd made the most of the extra man. Skipper Dicomidis pounced on another superb Lockyer pass for the home side's third try, Humberstone again adding the extra two.
By this time, the heavy conditions were beginning to take their toll and McIntosh rang the changes. Adam Thomas and Rhys Shellard were among those introduced and with Parker now playing on the flank for Welsh, there was very little between the sides. It was the visitors who were seeing most of the ball, but Pontypridd's kicking game was solid and their defence remained heroic.
A monster penalty from Humberstone then steadied Pontypridd nerves before Cook's score sent the Sardis Road faithful wild. The try started inside the Pontypridd half, the home side going the length of the field to secure the game. Nuthall was again the provider, sprinting clear before being scragged just short of the line. He refused to panic though and popped the ball up for Cook to flop over.
Humberstone converted and with the game now won, cries of "Chief……Chief" echoed from the stands. It was a fitting end to a superb occasion and although Stegmann crossed on the final whistle, there was to be no ruining of McIntosh's send-off.
Pontypridd: Tries: Walsh, Jenkins, Dicmodis, Cook; Conversions: Humberstone (3); Pens: Humberstone.
London Welsh: Tries: Parker, Scott, Stegmann; Conversions: Ross (2); Pens: Ross.