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Saturday, 26 October, 2002, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Ponty owe it to Davey
Pontypridd number eight Michael Owen
Ponty's Michael Owen gets the ball away
Celtic League - Pool B
Pontypridd 15-9 Cardiff

Pontypridd's Brett Davey kicked his side to a crucial victory over Cardiff at Sardis Road to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final tie against Neath.

With try scoring opportunities at a premium, Ponty were indebted to the full-back's accuracy as they struggled to penetrate a stubborn Cardiff defence.

Iestyn Harris kept his side in contention with three penalties of his own, but Ponty led from start to finish and never looked in any real danger.

The main reason for that was that Cardiff were forced to play all but 20 minutes of the match a man down.

Scoring details:
Pontypridd (9) 15:
Davey 5.
Cardiff (6) 9:
Harris 3.
Att: 7,500
Prop Kenneth Fourie was given his marching orders from referee Iain Ramage after persistently punching Ponty lock Robert Sidoli on the ground.

Sidoli, who was named in the Wales squad for the autumn internationals this week, needed several stitches to a deep gash above his right eye thanks to Fourie's fists.

Cardiff's disciplinary problems escalated even further some five minutes later when their other prop, Peter Rogers, was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.

The former Wales international had been warned several times by Ramage for infringing at the scrums before the referee finally had enough.

Ponty should have made more of their numerical advantage, but struggled to show any imagination or guile with the ball in hand.

Cardiff prop Kenneth Fourie gets his marching orders
Fourie's red card put Cardiff under pressure
Two Davey penalties, adding to the early opener, was their only reward despite monopolising possession.

Cardiff fly-half Harris was equally accurate with his attempts, and his two successful penalties had kept his depleted side in contention at half-time.

The Davey and Harris kicking dual continued after the break as they exchanged a penalty apiece in the early exchanges.

Ponty opened up a six point lead after 55 minutes when Davey kicked his fifth penalty, but Cardiff showed no sign of giving up the fight.

In fact, the visitors came the closest to scoring that elusive try when a superb break from full-back Rhys Williams put Dan Baugh in the clear on the left wing.

The Canadian, though, decided to cut back inside and was smothered by the covering defence.

Cardiff's John Tait is tackled by Gareth Wyatt
Both sides struggled to find any space
Harris missed a chance to bring Cardiff back to within three points when he missed a relatively easy penalty with some 15 minutes to go.

Surprisingly, Cardiff finished the game strongly. They enjoyed the lion share of possession and penned Pontypridd down in their 22 for most of the final stages.

But the vital breakthrough would not come. In injury time, the Ponty pack finally made their advantage count and drove over the Cardiff tryline.

Cardiff somehow managed to stop them grounding the ball for the score and cleared the danger from the resulting scrum.

Ponty coach Lyn Howells admitted his side will need to improve before Neath's visit at the end of November.

Cardiff, meanwhile, face a tough trip to face an the improving Edinburgh side.

Pontypridd: Brett Davey; Gareth Wyatt, Sonny Parker, Jason Lewis, Emyr Lewis; Ceri Sweeney, Paul John, Gethin Jenkins, Mefin Davies (capt), Duncan Bell, Brett Cockbain, Robert Sidoli, Geraint Lewis, Richard Parks, Michael Owen.
Reps: Gareth Baber, Neil Jenkins, Shaun James, Matthew Rees, Neil Hennessey, Dale McIntosh, Wayne O'Connor.

Cardiff: Rhys Williams; Anthony Sullivan, Jamie Robinson, Pieter Muller, Craig Morgan; Iestyn Harris, Ryan Powell; Peter Rogers, Andrew Lewis, Kenneth Fourie, Heino Senekal, John Tait, Rob Appleyard, Dan Baugh, Martyn Williams (capt).
Reps: Gary Powell, Greg Woods, Luke Tait, Emyr Lewis, Dean Dewdney, Nick Robinson, Donavan van Vuuren.

Referee: Iain Ramage (Scotland).

The final



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