By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea’s Premiership woes continued at the House of Pain as they were unable to contain star centre Dafydd Lockyer, whose hat trick of tries proved the difference.
The All Whites had not tasted victory at Sardis Road since hooker Chris Wells scored the only try in a 11-6 victory back in 2001.
But it was the visitors who began strongly when Ponty fly half Lewis K Williams was penalised for holding on after the tackle. Swansea outside half Jac Wilson kicked to the corner and lock Jon Fox made good ground, before full back Julian Mogg was brought down inside the twenty-two and the move ended.
The home pack won ball against the head and got possession out quickly through the hands of centres Dafydd Lockyer and Declan Williams. Flanker Rhys Shellard made a half break and forced the Whites defence to kill the ball.
Lewis K Williams kicked to the corner and from the resulting lineout the home side got the ball out to Lockyer, who scored. Lewis K Williams converted.
Moments later a defence splitting run by winger Cameron Lewis caught out the Whites and he threw a try scoring pass to Lockyer. Lewis K Williams added the extras.
Swansea were on the scoreboard just before the half hour mark when Declan Williams was penalised for holding on after the tackle. Wilson duly kicked the three points.
The 14 point lead was soon restored through a Lewis K Williams penalty when the All Whites were caught offside in midfield.
On the stroke of half time the home side looked certain to score in the corner through Cameron Lewis after great work by the backs, but he slipped a couple of metres short of the line and was penalised for holding onto the ball.
Half-time:- Pontypridd 17 Swansea 3
Almost straight after the interval Pontypridd went in search for a third try and almost scored through Cameron Lewis, but the winger was crowded into touch.
Ill-discipline threatened to creep into the ranks of the game, but referee Gareth John stamped it out by yellow carding home prop Joe Popple and visitors’ hooker Ricky Guest for fighting.
The visitors got themselves right back into the match when centre Ryan Evans intercepted a loose Gary Williams pass and raced clear to score from within his own half. Wilson’s conversion fell short of the posts.
Winger Dale Stuckey showed great strength in midfield and Cameron Lewis dummied his way into the twenty-two, but he became isolated and Evans secured a turnover to clear.
A superb move by the Pontypridd forwards and backs saw Lockyer race into the twenty-two, only for prop Tom Sloane to kill the ball. Lewis K Williams kicked to the corner and flanker Jon Vaughan illegally brought down the resulting maul, earning him a yellow card.
The impressive Lockyer again spotted a gap in midfield and the visitors killed the ball. Lewis K Williams chipped to the corner and from the lineout lock Chris Dicomidis was mauled by his pack over for a try. Lewis K Williams converted.
The home side split the Swansea defence thanks to a break by Lockyer, but the supporting Shellard took the wrong option by chipping ahead when he had support outside him.
Cameron Lewis probed the Swansea defence on the wing and managed to hold of a tackler to send Lockyer racing clear for his side’s bonus point try. Lewis K Williams converted.
The Whites refused to give up and managed to grab a second try when winger Will Lewis sprinted past a tiring Pontypridd defence to race home from half way. Replacement fly half Rory Garrett missed the conversion.
Swansea went in search of a third try in the dying moments when the pack drove their counterparts off a scrum, earning a penalty. Garrett found the corner, but lock Tudor Hughes lost the ball forward under pressure.
Next up for Pontypridd is a trip to Carmarthen, while Swansea host Newport.
Full-time:- Pontypridd 29 Swansea 13
Tries:- Dafydd Lockyer (10, 21, 68), Chris Dicomidis (62)
Cons:- Lewis K Williams (11, 22, 63, 69)
Pens:- Lewis K Williams (35)
Yellow cards:- Joe Popple (46)
Tries:- Ryan Evans (51), Will Lewis (80+1)
Pens:- Jac Wilson (27)
Yellow cards:- Ricky Guest (46), Jon Vaughan (58)
Venue:- Sardis Road, Pontypridd
Referee:- Gareth John
Weather:- Cloudy, 12C
Man of the match:- Dafydd Lockyer
15 Gary Williams
14 Dale Stuckey
13 Declan Williams
12 Dafydd Lockyer © (rep: Bradley Coombes 72)
11 Cameron Lewis
10 Lewis K Williams (rep: Callum Hall 75)
9 Joel Raikes (rep: Greg Mogford 75)
1 Joe Popple (rep: Sam May 69)
2 Huw Dowden
3 Mitch Auger (rep: Connor Lewis 69)
4 Sean Moore (rep: Dan Godfrey 55 (rep: Corrie Tarrant 67))
5 Chris Dicomidis
6 Jake Thomas
7 Rhys Shellard
8 Owen Sheppeard (rep: Dafi Davies 63)
16 Greg Mogford
17 Callum Hill
18 Bradley Coombes
19 Corrie Tarrant
20 Dafi Davies
21 Dan Godfrey
22 Connor Lewis
23 Sam May
15 Julian Mogg
14 Josh Jones
13 Ryan Evans (rep: Ewan Gully 63)
12 Josh Martin
11 Will Lewis
10 Jac Wilson (rep: Rory Garrett 66)
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Martin Luckwell 63)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Richard Murphy 66)
2 Paul John (rep: Ricky Guest 40)
3 Mitchell Walsh (rep: Sam Martin 66)
4 Jon Fox (rep: Jay Williams 7)
5 Tudor Hughes
6 Jon Vaughan ©
7 Mike Sully (rep: Jack Perkins 53)
8 Rory Gallagher
16 Ricky Guest
17 Richard Murphy
18 Sam Martin
19 Jay Williams
20 Jack Perkins
21 Martin Luckwell
22 Rory Garrett
23 Ewan Gully