By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea dropped back into the bottom four as they were well beaten by a clinical Pontypridd side at a windswept St Helen’s.
The home side gave away an early penalty and veteran fly half Ceri Sweeney chipped to the corner. Flanker Lloyd Evans rose high to take the lineout and a powerful rolling maul saw hooker Huw Dowden power over for a try. Sweeney missed the conversion.
When the visitors collapsed a scrum full back Owen Howe had a chance to get Swansea on the board, but his effort at goal drifted wide of the posts.
Winger Dafydd Thomas threatened down the wing for the visitors but opposite number Ryan Griffiths made an important tackle to stop him in his tracks.
A missed tackle by full back Dale Stuckey on Griffiths almost proved costly as the winger raced towards the line, but a high tackle brought an end to the move. Instead Howe chipped to touch for a lineout and number eight Duane Eager was held up over the try line.
From the scrum half back Josh Guy picked up at the base and stayed strong to touch down in the corner. Howe missed the conversion.
Centre R Rhys Williams found touch on the twenty-two after the Ponty pack collapsed a scrum, but lock Jon Fox was then penalised for holding on after the tackle, allowing the visitors to clear.
Winger Alex Webber misjudged a high kick in the wind and was dragged back inside his own twenty-two by the advancing Swansea tacklers.
Sweeney and Evans combined in midfield to draw in the Swansea defence, before scrum half David Francis got quick ball out wide for Stuckey to score. Sweeney converted.
A high tackle by the Swansea defence gave Ponty one last chance before half time. Centre Dafydd Lockyer was stopped a few metres out, before the visitors switched to the right wing for Webber to squeeze over at the corner. Sweeney missed the conversion.
Half-time:- Swansea 5 Pontypridd 14
After a promising opening to the second half for the home side it was Pontypridd who were awarded a penalty when a Stuckey break forced the Whites to kill the ball. Sweeney kicked to touch, but Swansea illegally pulled down a maul so the fly half chipped for a second lineout.
From the set piece the Ponty pack drove towards the line and centre Alex Knott spotted a gap in the defence to touch down under the posts. Sweeney converted.
A powerful run by replacement lock Andy Green sparked an attack for the Whites and the visitors’ defence killed the ball. Eager found a gap in the middle of the lineout and fed flanker Callum Bowden, who was brought down metres from the line.
Thomas showed a superb turn of pace to race past a couple of tacklers, but replacement winger Nathan Trowbridge did well to track back and defend the chip through.
Number eight Morgan Sieniawski picked up a loose ball in the corner to touch down and put further gloss on the win with a late try.
Next up for Swansea is a trip to Premiership champions Merthyr, while Pontypridd host league leaders Ebbw Vale.
Full-time:- Swansea 5 Pontypridd 32
Tries:- Josh Guy (23)
Tries:- Huw Dowden (3), Dale Stuckey (40+3), Alex Webber (40+7), Alex Knott (50), Morgan Sieniawski (80+6)
Cons:- Ceri Sweeney (40+4, 51)
Pens:- Lewis K Williams (80)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Weather:- Light rain, 18C
Man of the match:- Dale Stuckey
15 Owen Howe
14 Ryan Griffiths (rep: Nathan Trowbridge 54)
13 R Rhys Williams
12 J Rhys Williams
11 Andrew Claypole
10 Foard Cooksley (rep: Dafydd Manley 59)
9 Josh Guy (rep: Tom Ham 72)
1 Jack Powell (rep: Tom Northy 54 (rep: Jack Powell 74))
2 Paul John (rep: Sion Jones 54)
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Tom Harper 65)
4 Jon Fox ©
5 Stef Jones (rep: Andy Green 41)
6 Jon Vaughan
7 Callum Bowden (rep: Ben Davies 75)
8 Duane Eager
16 Sion Jones
17 Tom Northy
18 Tom Harper
19 Andy Green
20 Ben Davies
21 Tom Ham
22 Dafydd Manley
23 Nathan Trowbridge
15 Dale Stuckey
14 Alex Webber
13 Alex Knott
12 Dafydd Lockyer (rep: Tom Riley 75)
11 Dafydd Thomas
10 Ceri Sweeney (rep: Lewis K Williams 78)
9 David Francis (rep: Huw Rees 75)
1 Ian George (rep: Huw Owen 59)
2 Huw Dowden (rep: Joe Page 72)
3 Gareth Smith (rep: Joe Popple 78)
4 Shay Smallman
5 Chris Dicomidis (rep: Steffan Jenkins 72)
6 Lloyd Evans (rep: Rhodri Jones 61)
7 Rhys Shellard
8 Morgan Sieniawski
16 Joe Page
17 Huw Owen
18 Joe Popple
19 Rhodri Jones
20 Steffan Jenkins
21 Huw Rees
22 Tom Riley
23 Lewis K Williams