CARDIFF 25, PONTYPRIDD 31
Brett Davey booted Pontypridd into the Principality Cup final and a clash with cup kings Llanelli back at the Millennium Stadium on May 18.
Davey's deadly boot dashed Cardiff's cup hopes as he landed eight penalty
goals and a conversion for a 26-point haul that earned him the man of the match award.
Davey's efforts helped to clinch a thunderous semi-final in which Cardiff scored three tries but still walked off losers.
The Pontypridd pack never gave an inch and Davey did the rest to leave Ponty still chasing a knock-out double - they take on London Irish in the Parker Pen Shield semi-finals in 13 days time.
Pontypridd, who had beaten Cardiff in two of their previous three cup
meetings, set off at a cracking pace to set the tone for a thriller.
They scorned a possible three points by opting for a line-out close to the
Cardiff line. Brent Cockbain did the business in winning possession and,
after probing at the Cadiff defence, hooker and Wales A captain Mefin
Davies was the one to force his way over after just three minutes.
Cardiff full back Rhys Williams was wide with a drop goal attempt and with
Ponty playing the territory game shrewdly through the boot of Ceri Sweeney, Cardiff were the ones on the back foot.
And if that early try delighted the Ponty faithful, they had more to cheer
as they went 13 points clear in as many minutes, full back Brent Davey
punishing Cardiff with two penalty goals to give Cardiff a real wake-up
David Young's team responded in style through a line-out move that brought
its reward for all the effort on the training ground.
Luke Tait soared high to claim the ball at the back, No 8 Emyr Lewis acted
as the link and hooker Jonathan Humphreys was able to shoot down the now unprotected blindside for an unconverted try.
Seven minutes on and they had another beauty, livewire scrum half Rob
Howley making the most of loose ball, wing Craig Morgan adding the
injection of pace and centre Pieter Muller the one to profit from Morgan's
awareness of his support.
Harris converted before the contest briefly turned into something of a
kicking duel - Davey, Harris, Davey and Harris again exchanging penalty goals before Cardiff struck for the third time with the ball in hand.
Harris spotted no-one at home at full back for Pontypridd and his kick over the defence was a gem for pacey centre Jamie Robinson to outstrip the remaining defenders.
Harris converted the first half injury time score to put Cardiff six points clear and in front for the first time. But Ponty clearly responded to coach Lynn Howells' half-time pep talk and they swung into action again at the start of the second half.
Sweeney launched a peach of an up-and-under that Williams did well to take but centre Jon Bryant arrived at much the same time to bury the Cardiff No 15
and earn a penalty in front of the posts.
That was meat and drink to Davey as Pontypridd closed the gap but then the
full back missed the chance of levelling matters with a chance he would normally knock over with his eyes closed.
Davey did pull them back onto level terms on the hour with his sixth
penalty goal as the solid Cardiff defence reduced them to making their mark chiefly through the full back's kicking.
And with Cardiff giving away a flood of penalties, Davey punished them for
the seventh time with just 10 minutes remaining as he inched Ponty back in
front - and supplied the coup de grace with penalty No 8 to keep that cup
double dream alive.
Cardiff: Tries: Jon Humphreys, Pieter Muller, Jamie Robinson; Cons: Iestyn Harris 2; Pens: Iestyn Harris 2.
Pontypridd: Try: Mefin Davies; Con: Brett Davey; Pens: Brett Davey 8
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