Pride powers Pontypridd

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The Independent Online
Llanelli 14

Pontypridd 20

Pontypridd's desire to prove they are worthy to rank among the lite clubs in Wales was enough to carry them into their first Swalec Cup final for 16 years.

Cardiff Arms Park has been a happy hunting ground for them this season, but not even a victory over Cardiff could move them to the top of the Heineken League First Division.

That meant they had to concentrate on reaching the Cup final if they were to stand any chance of winning something this season. Victory at last against the Scarlets, after seven previous failures in the Cup, was once again engineered by Neil Jenkins's kicking. Not only did he convert five out of five first-half penalties, but he also paved the way for David Manley to strike midway through the second half with the try that made the game safe.

Llanelli's bold bid to reach a fifth successive final hit problems when they lost Colin Stephens six minutes into the second half. The former Welsh stand-off broke his left leg in a heavy tackle, leaving the Scarlets without a recognised goalkicker.

The captain, Rupert Moon, amazingly put himself into the firing line ahead of Jason Strange, who replaced Stephens, and he hit the mark with his first attempt to close the gap to four points. He went on to miss disastrously with two more kicks before handing over to Strange. He then found himself on the receiving end of some unnecessary violence.

Dale McIntosh was lucky to survive the final 24 minutes after a disgraceful attack on the Llanelli scrum-half. To add insult to injury, the No 8 stole a line-out ball moments later to set up the ruck from which Manley's match- winning try was created.

Llanelli: Try McBryde; Penalties Stephens, Moon, Strange. Pontypridd: Try Manley; Penalties Jenkins 5.

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

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, D McIntosh, R Collins.

Referee: G Simmonds (Cardiff).