Lewis Hudd of Bedwas steps past Pontypridd's Adam Thomas
Pontypridd moved level on points with Carmarthen Quins at the top of the Principality Premiership after a 34-15 win away at Bedwas on Saturday morning.
Three tries in the last quarter proved enough to win it for the visitors but the encounter was a lot closer than the final score line suggested. Nonetheless, it was another statement of intent from the defending champions who have won six and drawn one of their seven games so far this season.
It was Bedwas who notched the first points of the game, Harley Thompson kicking a penalty before debutant Glen Lewis crossed for a well worked score.
Dai Flanagan reduced the deficit for Pontypridd and although it was Bedwas who were on top, they were struggling to convert their pressure into points. And when Flanagan kicked two more penalties before the break, Bedwas went into the interval behind.
It wasn't long before the home side were back ahead though, Rory Budina giving Bedwas the dream start to the second half with a try under the posts, Thompson again converting.
Pontypridd hit back with two more penalties from Flanagan but when the home side were forced into a couple of changes due to injury, the visitors struck. Second row Craig Locke and full back Adam Thomas crossed for two quick scores with the relentless Flanagan converting both efforts. The two tries took the wind from the Bedwas sails and replacement Lloyd Williams made certain of the victory with Pontypridd's third try.
In the other fixture to take place, Aberavon earned a vital 27-23 win over Bridgend in a game of two halves.
A horrendous first 40 minutes from the Ravens saw them ship three first half tries. Ex-Bridgend Athletic full back Jonny Phillips sliced through for the home side's first try before Ieuan Davies and Richard Carter put the Port Talbot side well ahead as the half time whistle sounded.
Bridgend's only impact on the scoreboard had come through the boot of James Dixon but in the second half, they fought back to claim a losing bonus point as Aberavon failed to score in the second half.
Bridgend dominated possession and territory with Luke Morgan's converted try getting the Ravens back into things. With the wind in their sails, Bridgend launched one final attack and were rewarded when Lloyd Evans broke the line and offloaded to Tom Grabham who crossed the whitewash.
Dixon kicked another successful conversion but it was not enough to stop Jason Hyatt from securing his first win as Aberavon coach.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.