Rugby Union: Jones faces ban after fracas

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Ebbw Vale 24 Pontypridd 23

MARK JONES, Ebbw Vale's hardman, could be in hot water for another sending off after landing a haymaker on Pontypridd's Ian Gough which put the young lock in hospital.

Gough was due to have an operation on an eye at East Glamorgan Hospital yesterday as a result of the punch two minutes from the end of the match on Saturday night.

But the Pontypridd spokesman Cenydd Thomas was remaining silent over the affair and any action taken by the Sardis Road outfit. "We have no comment at the moment, we will wait and see if we will take any action," he said.

Both Jones and Gough were named in the Wales squad by the new coach Graham Henry but both could miss out on the next game against South Africa.

Gough could be ruled out while he recovers from the operation and Jones faces a possible lengthy ban ruling him out of the game at Wembley on 14 November.

It is not the first time Jones has been in trouble for violent play but his club captain Kingsley Jones defended his actions. "Mark was retaliating to a punch thrown by Ian Gough at Kuli Faletau," Jones said. "I guess Mark's was a better punch because Kuli was still standing. We'll have to have a look at the incident on the replay."

In a bruising encounter at Eugene Cross Park both sides played their part in a thrilling game that went right down to the wire with Ebbw Vale bouncing back from their two recent hammerings in the European Cup to take Pontypridd's unbeaten record in the Premier Division. Ponty's defeat meant they were knocked off the top by Llanelli, who swamped Newport 68- 26, scoring 10 tries.

Ebbw Vale Tries: Billen, Manley; Conversion Hayward; Penalties Hayward 4.

Pontypridd: Tries Shorney, Wyatt; Conversions Jenkins 2; Penalties Jenkins 3.

Ebbw Vale: S Taumololo; D Manley, J Funnell, J Strange, L Woodward; B Hayward, D Llewellyn; A Phillips, L Phillips, A Metcalfe, C Billen, K Faletau, M Spiller (G Green, 60), M Jones (G Green, 42-53), K Jones (capt).

Pontypridd: G Wyatt; R Shorney (M Price, 74), J Lewis, S Lewis, GO Lewis; N Jenkins (capt), P John; M Griffiths, A Lamerton (M Thomas, 63), N Eynon (A Griffiths, 51), A Freeman, I Gough, M Lloyd, G P Lewis, M Williams.

Referee: W Bevan (Clydach).