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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Ponty edge past Borders
Borders centre Stephen Cranston breaks through the Pontypridd defence
Stephen Cranston makes a break for Borders
Celtic League - Pool B
Pontypridd 28-27 Borders

Neil Jenkins kept Pontypridd firmly on course for the Celtic League quarter-finals by staging a goalkicking master-class at Sardis Road.

The former Wales fly-half kicked 23 points, but Ponty were given a major fright after Borders outscored them 3-1 on tries.

The newly-formed Scottish outfit are still seeking an elusive first Celtic League victory, yet had it not been for Jenkins' prodigious boot, then it might have been a different story.

Borders scored tries through flanker Campbell Feather, a classy Gregor Townsend solo effort and wing Craig Moir in injury time.

  Scoring detail
Pontypridd (15) 28
Tries: Owen
Cons: Jenkins
Pens: Jenkins (6)
Drop-goals: Jenks
Borders (13) 27
Tries: Feather, Townsend, Muir
Cons: Utterson (3)
Pens: Utterson (2)
They led by two points approaching the midway stage of the second-half, but Jenkins hauled Ponty 21-20 ahead through his sixth successful penalty.

And when flanker Michael Owen powered over from a driven lineout, converted by Jenkins, Ponty looked home and dry.

Borders kept plugging away and Moir was sent sprinting clear for a touchdown that centre Kevin Utterson converted.

But that proved the final kick of the match as referee Dave Pyndall immediately blew his final whistle to the relief of the Ponty faithful.

It was Pontypridd's third successive Celtic League triumph after losing their opening fixture against Leinster in Dublin, and they had Jenkins to thank for the second successive week.

International rugby's all-time record points scorer landed two penalties and a drop goal inside the opening 17 minutes to edge Ponty ahead after Utterson struck a penalty double.

Moir was narrowly denied a try by a brilliant Brett Davey tackle, Feather was driven over from the resulting lineout to put Borders ahead for the first time.

Two more Jenkins penalties, though, put the home side in front at half-time.

Jenkins continued to accept his goalkicking chances, but Borders always looked dangerous with ball in hand.

And after their forwards had set up a promising position, fly-half Townsend dummied his way over for a try that Utterson again converted.

Ponty could not relax even after they regained the initiative through Jenkins' sixth penalty and Owen's try.

There was a collective sigh of relief from the home fans when referee Pyndall decided to end the contest with Ponty grateful for their single point advantage.


Pontypridd: B Davey; G Wyatt, S Parker, J Bryant, M Nathall; E Lewis, G Baber; G Jenkins, M Rees, D Bell, D McIntosh (capt), R Sidoli, M Owen, R Parks, G Lewis.
Reps: P John, C Sweeney, J Lewis, N Hennessy, M Davies, B Cockbain, W O'Connor.

Borders: T Vili; N Walker, S Cranston, K Utterson, C Moir; G Townsend, G Armstrong (capt); P Thomson, S Scott, B Douglas, D Weir, R Metcalfe, C Feather, M Taylor, S Sititi.
Reps: J Stuart, C Laidlaw, I Fairley, A Rennick, C Stewart, C Dunlea, S Gunn.

Referee: David Tindall (Ireland)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Robert Jones
"Pontypridd were made to work by Borders"

The final

SEASON STATS

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING RUGBY
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