Cardiff Met put up a brave fight against Cardiff at the Arms Park
Pontypridd dumped in form Llanelli out of the SWALEC Cup in one of five games played over the weekend.
With the weather causing a number of matches to be abandoned, Ponty's trip to Parc y Scarlets was the standout fixture and it was the visitors who progressed to the next round.
Last year's finalists crossed for three tries in a 22-14 win but did not have it all their own way against an inform and ferociously competitive Llanelli.
With the first 10 minutes remaining scoreless, the visitors finally broke out of their defensive shackles. Forwards Darran Harris and Chris Dicomidis led a surge into the home twenty-two and scrum half Gareth James was up in support to claim a try. Dai Flanagan converted the score for a 7-0 lead.
Hooker Harris was again prominent in attack as Pontypridd made headway into the home half. After a driving line out was held up just short, and a series of close range scrums were also kept at bay, the pressure finally told as the ball was moved out wide for centre Gary Williams to cross for another try. This time Flanagan's wide angle kick rebounded off a post.
The visitors' lead was extended as fly half Flanagan added a penalty with 28 minutes gone but Llanelli regrouped to finish the first half strongly. A number of charges and counter attacks came to nothing with the home team guilty of committing costly errors. Pressure eventually told though. A Ponty defensive scrum went awry and Llanelli prop Shaun Hopkins pounced for a try. Diggy Bird converted, bringing up an interval score of 7-15.
Llanelli carried their momentum into the second half but it was the visitors who scored first. Centre Gary Williams wrestled a turnover and charged through for a fine opportunist try which was converted by Flanagan.
With a significant deficit to overturn, Llanelli threw everything at Dale McIntosh's side and a beleaguered Ponty defence was further stretched as both winger Chris Clayton and centre Gavin Dacey were sin binned in quick succession. Just as Ponty seemed to have held out and cleared their lines, Llanelli struck back on the counter, in form winger Kyle Evans sprinting in for a try which full back Jonny Lewis converted.
Evans' try proved to be the final score though as Ponty's defence held out to progress to the next round.
In the remaining games there were no giant killing acts but Cardiff Met came close at their neighbours' Cardiff, the top tier club relying on a late score to claim a narrow 20-16 victory.
In a Bridgend derby tie, the Ravens saw off the Athletic at the Brewery Field 31-3.
It was the away side who opened the scoring through the boot of Steve Lewis but that was as good as it got for the Green and Golds.
Rhys Ward-Jones was the first to benefit from the dominance of the home sidebefore Tom Morgan ensured the home side led 14-3 at the break.
With the conditions under foot beginning to tell, credit must be given to both teams for trying to play an expansive game, and it was this that led to further tries for the impressive Ward-Jones, and replacements Andrew Waite and Scott Hicks to ensure The Ravens were in the hat for the next round.
In the remaining games to take place, Swansea gained a 29-12 home win over North Wales team RGC 1404 while Narberth could not make the most of home advantage as they were beaten 36-15 by Carmarthen Quins.
This week on the Principality Premiership Podcast, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie talks to Carmarthen Quins head coach Louie Tonkin who is aiming to close the gap on leading duo, Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale, with victory against Bridgend tomorrow.
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