Pontypridd (A - B&I) 5.4.1306/04/2013
Pontypridd 48 Jersey 17
Jersey matched the Welsh Premiership champions for most of a
competitive first half before Ponty upped their game and pulled
clear to win the British & Irish Cup tie at a canter.
Jersey had the perfect start when some powerful rumbling by the forwards, right from the kick-off, set up a platform from which Joel Dudley crossed for the try. The scrum-half was playing his first game since August after an injury-plagued campaign.
Matthew Nuthall responded for the visitors, but Jersey regained the lead when Talite Vaioleti crossed following good work by Glenn Bryce. Ross Broadfoot missed two difficult conversions from wide out and soon afterwards his opposite number Dai Flanagan landed a penalty to tie the scores at 10-10.
Hooker Jack Dando put Ponty back in from with a try around the
half-hour mark, converted by Flanagan, and then debutant Aled
Summerhill crossed on the stroke of half-time to make it 22-10 at
Jersey needed an early score in the second half to get back into contention, but instead it was the hosts who got the scoreboard moving again when number 8 Owen Sheppeard scored the fourth - bonus point - try.
Jersey were fire-fighting by this stage, and even the departure of Ponty flanker Tom Hetherington to the sin-bin for foul play couldn't stem the tide, with Summerhill adding his second try, former Wales cap Gareth Wyatt scoring from a Flanagan cross-kick and finally Bradley Thyer adding a seventh from another cross-kick.
Jersey did have the satisfaction of getting the final score of the match, a James Copsey try converted by Broadfoot. The visitors also introduced young players Tim Corson and Harry Cochrane in the closing stages - Cochrane making his senior debut while Corson's only previous 1st XV appearance was as a replacement in the 2012 Siam Cup.
Both sides had hopes in the B&I this season: Jersey felt they should have won the game against Ponty at St Peter, and were also well-placed in their third match, at home to Leinster 'A', after beating Leeds away from home. But the campaign fell away after this.
Ponty finished the pool with 20 points, just two behind Leinster, and know that if they'd gained a win in Jersey, or in their away match in Dublin (lost 21-9), or if Leeds had defeated Leinster 'A' in the teams' final pool match (it finished 30-30) that they could perhaps have qualified. But ultimately a question of too many ifs.
Jersey's attention now turns to the crucial RFU Championship encounter with Doncaster Knights next weekend at St Peter, while Ponty have ambitions to complete the league and cup double in Wales before their season ends in late May.
Jersey squad, sponsored by Locate Jersey and jersey.com
1. Myles Landick
2. Charlie Clare
3. James Gethings (rep Jim Brimelow)
4. James Voss
5. Paul Rodgers
6. Graham Bell (capt)
7. Eoghan Nihill (rep Tim Corson)
8. Talite Vaioleti
9. Joel Dudley (rep Harry Cochrane)
10. Ross Broadfoot
11. Chris Levesley (rep Brendan O'Brien)
12. Ashley Maggs
13. Donovan Sanders
14. James Copsey
15. Glenn Bryce
15.Aled Summerhill. 14.Matthew Nuthall (Gareth Wyatt). 13.Tom Pascoe (Jake Thomas). 12..Dafydd Lockyer (Simon Humberstone).11.Owen Jenkins. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Carl Thomas (Gareth James).
1.Stuart Williams (Scott Roberts). 2.Jack Dando. 3.Bradley Thyer. 4.Simon Williams. 5.Cory Hill (Jordan Sieniawski). 6.Ed Siggery. 7.Tom Hetherington. 8.Owen Sheppeard.