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RUGBY UNION: Welsh succumb at Ponty party
10:00am Monday 21st October 2013 in Rugby
It was not the home coming that Justin Burnell side had hoped for as his London Welsh outfit suffered their second successive defeat in the British & Irish Cup with a 29-22 loss at a wet and muddy Pontpridd on Saturday.
The Exiles head coach, a former Pontypridd player, had to give second best to the host club, who gave their departing head coach Dale McIntosh a fitting send-off.
Burnell’s Greene King IPA Championship leaders have seven days to rediscover their winning formula in time for the visit of Cornish Pirates to Ox-ford’s Kassam Stadium on Saturday.
Ponty’s players paid their own tribute to McIntosh with a guard of honour, but Sonny Parker clearly hadn’t read the script when he crossed to give Welsh the lead against his former club.
The Exiles stretched the home side before Gordon Ross sent Nick Scott through, and although the winger was tackled short he found Parker to score after 18 minutes Ross’ conversion miss was something of a collector’s item, given his form with the boot.
The hosts’ response was as swift. Simon Humberstone’s miss pass sent Dafydd Lockyer away, who released Matthew Nuthall. The winger had full back Geraint Walsh on his inside shoulder to cross the line. Humberstone converted.
With the pitch turning into a mudbath, Welsh edged 8-7 ahead just before the break through a Ross penalty.
But the home side were back in front within five minutes of the restart.
James Lewis collected a clearing kick on the full, diving forward, only for his offload to be read by Ellis Jenkins and the flanker raced more than half length of the pitch to score, leaving the Welsh centre to beat the ground in frustration.
The Exiles soon reclaimed the lead, Seb Stegmann and Scott combining nicely for the latter to go over. Ross converted and Welsh led by three.
Tempers flared in what was an otherwise incident free contest, and Welsh flanker Carl Kirwan saw yellow for his part. Ponty took immediate advantage. Lockyer’s floated miss-pass found Chris Dicomidis loitering on the right wing with the line at the captain’s mercy. Humberstone’s converted.
Welsh set up a spell of pressure, but crucially could not make it count. When Humberstone landed a superb penalty from just inside the Welsh half, the gap was a converted try.
One did immediately follow, only it came from the home side – Ponty counter-attacking from turnover ball with Macauley Cook touching down. Humberside added the extras.
Stegmann’s individual effort, converted by Ross, was some consolation. Pontypridd: Walsh, O Jenkins (Thomas 66), Dacey, Lockyer, Nuthall, Humberstone, T Williams, Howe, R Williams (Dowden 67-77), K Jenkins (Philips 67), Locke (Cook 72), Dicomidis (capt), E Jenkins (Shellard 66), Young, Godfrey.
London Welsh: Jewell, Stegmann, J Lewis Awcock 47), Parker, Scott, Ross, Cook (Davies 66), Hepburn (Trevett 54), Titterrell (Davis 72), Edwards (Tideswell 54), Corker (capt), Browne, Lees (Thorpe 66), Kirwan (Stedman 66), Browne.
Referee: K Barry.
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