Manley's vital blow

Welsh Cup semi-finals: Jenkins gives Pontypridd a kick-start as Swansea have that little extra Pontypridd 20 Llanelli 14
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The Independent Online
THE PONTYPRIDD points phenomenon, Neil Jenkins, was at it again yesterday, but the club's first appearance in the Swalec Cup final for 16 years was almost put in jeopardy by a wreckless outbreak of violence by the No8 Dale McIntosh.

The Kiwi forward just couldn't resist the temptation to contribute to a mass assault on the Llanelli captain Rupert Moon in the second half and should have been dismissed for firing off at least six punches. Poor old Moon had done nothing to deserve the pounding he was already receiving from two Ponty players and it is astonishing that Huw Lewis, the touch judge, standing only one metre away, could have interpreted the incident as worthy of less than a sending-off.

Then, moments later, McIntosh stole the ball at a Llanelli line-out and charged away to set up the ruck from which Pontypridd struck the match- winning blow. Steele Lewis, also involved in the attack on Moon, carved an opening in the midfield and Jenkins sped through to pave the way for David Manley to score.

The try took the steam out of a valiant Llanelli revival. In the first half, Jenkins had punished them severely with five out of five penalties, but a smart try from Robin McBryde had given the Scarlets something to build on.

That score put Llanelli ahead, though it was a short-lived lead as two minutes later Jenkins had landed his second penalty. Colin Stephens gave Llanelli further hope two minutes after the interval with a penalty, but four minutes later he was carried off with a suspected broken leg. That thrust Moon into the goalkicking limelight but, after one success, he failed miserably with two others, and once Manley had scored, Ponty were uncatchable.

Llanelli: W Proctor; I Evans, N Boobyer (M Wintle 42-50, 70 min), N Davies, G Evans; C Stephens (J Strange 46), R Moon (capt); R Jones, R McBryde, S John, P Davies, T Copsey, C Quinnell, G Jones, J Williams.

Pontypridd: G Jones; D Manley, J Lewis, S Lewis, G Lewis; N Jenkins, Paul John; N Bezani (capt), Phil John, A Metcalfe, G Prosser, M Rowley, M Lloyd, R Collins, D McIntosh.

Referee: G Simmonds (Cardiff).