Glasgow Let Victory Chance Slip Away

Pontypridd 25, Glasgow 20Glasgow travelled the long miles home from Sardis Road knowing full well that the Welsh/Scottish League game against Pontypridd this afternoon was one that got away. A try-count of 2-1 was no solace for Glasgow. Their half-time lead of 17-9 ought to have been enough on which to build a rare victory in South Wales.It was not only that Glasgow allowed that eight-point advantage to be overturned on the heavy, well sanded pitch. The number of chances not taken in the second half was unbearable and unacceptable, especially after the way the first 40 minutes had gone, with tries by Andy Henderson and Rory Kerr.Henderson scored his after Tommy Hayes and Nicky Little had exchanged early penalty goals. The young centre exploited loose ball when Pontypridd failed to tie in the ball from the restart kick following Little's goal. A tap on the accelerator took Henderson away, and he finished off with a swift swerve past Gareth Wyatt to run between the posts. Hayes's conversion took Glasgow to 10-3 after 10 minutes.Two more Little penalty goals hauled Glasgow back to 10-9, and the visitors had to weather severe pressure before Andy Nicol made Kerr's try in 32 minutes. The scrum half, covering deep to the open-side flank, latched on to Little's kick to Glasgow's left, and Glenn Metcalfe carried the thrust on for the wing to run over unopposed. Another Hayes conversion stretched the lead to 17-9.It was no less than Glasgow deserved, not least after they had played into the fluky breeze. They ought to have made more that half-time platform, even though, over the match, they did not have the lineout advantage that they have become used to through Jason White. He was rested for today, and Glasgow missed him. They lost more of their own throw-ins than they stole from Pontypridd.Glasgow also had another unaccustomed problem on the touchline - too many penalties incurred for either taking the legs away from the opposition jumper or collapsing the lineout maul. Indeed, late in the first half Jon Petrie was shown a yellow card for couping his opposing jumper. Yet Petrie had been in the air competing for the throw-in.Pontypridd exploited Petrie's 10 minutes in the sin-bin as that was the time when they scored their only try. Yet, with more composure, Glasgow could have avoided that loss. Jon Steel's quickly tapped free kick landed Henderson in bother in the Glasgow 22, and the turnover there allowed Jason Lewis the scope to sell a dummy before sprinting in between the posts. Little's conversion cut the visitors" lead to 17-16 just five minutes into the second half.In the remaining time, however, Glasgow had more than enough means to have regained the lead and stretched it. Hayes missed a couple of penalties, the second downwind from halfway. Worse, however, were the try-scoring opportunities that went begging - a handful of them.First, Hayes and Henderson were frustratingly close after a Roland Reid surge down the left. Secondly, Metcalfe opened up the Pontypridd right flank by running back a loose clearance, but his infield punt was snaffled by the wrong hands. Then a long, flat pass by Hayes opened up space for Metcalfe and Kerr on the left, but the supporting Gareth Flockhart was denied by Lewis's try-saving tackle. Henderson was half-through off a close-range scrum, but the opening was brought to naught by a forward pass.Finally, an overlap for Kerr was wasted when James McLaren's pass went astray. Admittedly, that was at halfway, but Kerr would surely have had the legs to make the running all of the way even on the soft pitch.Instead, Little had two more penalty goals, overturning Glasgow's lead for 22-17. Hayes responded with one in 61 minutes, but Ceri Sweeney, replacement for Little, had the last word with Pontypridd's sixth penalty goal.Pontypridd's win and Edinburgh's Friday night draw with Newport have shoved Glasgow down two pegs to eighth place in the table. Glasgow have therefore an extra reason for needing to beat Edinburgh at Myreside on Friday next week.Pontypridd - Gareth Wyatt; Gareth Jones, Sonny Parker, Jason Lewis, Nigel Simpson; Nicky Little, Paul John; Duncan Bell, Mefin Davies, Sven Cronk, Michael Owen, Robert Sidoli, Dale McIntosh (captain), Cory Harris, Glen Remnant. Substitutes - Richard Parks for Harris (half-time), Nick Kelly for Remnant (55 minutes), Jonathan Bryant for Jones (60), Ceri Sweeney for Little (71).Scorers: Try, Lewis; conversion, Little; penalty goals, Little (5), Sweeney.Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Jon Steel, James McLaren, Andrew Henderson, Rory Kerr; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gavin Scott, Gordon McIlwham, Steve Griffiths, Nathan Ross, Roland Reid, Gareth Flockhart, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Andy Hall for Ross (64), Dougie Hall for Scott (65), Tom McLaren for Flockhart (71).Scorers: Tries, Henderson, Kerr; conversions, Hayes (2); penalty goals, Hayes (2).Referee - Phil Fear (Llanharan).Pontypridd 25, Glasgow 20Glasgow travelled the long miles home from Sardis Road knowing full well that the Welsh/Scottish League game against Pontypridd this afternoon was one that got away. A try-count of 2-1 was no solace for Glasgow. Their half-time lead of 17-9 ought to have been enough on which to build a rare victory in South Wales.It was not only that Glasgow allowed that eight-point advantage to be overturned on the heavy, well sanded pitch. The number of chances not taken in the second half was unbearable and unacceptable, especially after the way the first 40 minutes had gone, with tries by Andy Henderson and Rory Kerr.Henderson scored his after Tommy Hayes and Nicky Little had exchanged early penalty goals. The young centre exploited loose ball when Pontypridd failed to tie in the ball from the restart kick following Little's goal. A tap on the accelerator took Henderson away, and he finished off with a swift swerve past Gareth Wyatt to run between the posts. Hayes's conversion took Glasgow to 10-3 after 10 minutes.Two more Little penalty goals hauled Glasgow back to 10-9, and the visitors had to weather severe pressure before Andy Nicol made Kerr's try in 32 minutes. The scrum half, covering deep to the open-side flank, latched on to Little's kick to Glasgow's left, and Glenn Metcalfe carried the thrust on for the wing to run over unopposed. Another Hayes conversion stretched the lead to 17-9.It was no less than Glasgow deserved, not least after they had played into the fluky breeze. They ought to have made more that half-time platform, even though, over the match, they did not have the lineout advantage that they have become used to through Jason White. He was rested for today, and Glasgow missed him. They lost more of their own throw-ins than they stole from Pontypridd.Glasgow also had another unaccustomed problem on the touchline - too many penalties incurred for either taking the legs away from the opposition jumper or collapsing the lineout maul. Indeed, late in the first half Jon Petrie was shown a yellow card for couping his opposing jumper. Yet Petrie had been in the air competing for the throw-in.Pontypridd exploited Petrie's 10 minutes in the sin-bin as that was the time when they scored their only try. Yet, with more composure, Glasgow could have avoided that loss. Jon Steel's quickly tapped free kick landed Henderson in bother in the Glasgow 22, and the turnover there allowed Jason Lewis the scope to sell a dummy before sprinting in between the posts. Little's conversion cut the visitors" lead to 17-16 just five minutes into the second half.In the remaining time, however, Glasgow had more than enough means to have regained the lead and stretched it. Hayes missed a couple of penalties, the second downwind from halfway. Worse, however, were the try-scoring opportunities that went begging - a handful of them.First, Hayes and Henderson were frustratingly close after a Roland Reid surge down the left. Secondly, Metcalfe opened up the Pontypridd right flank by running back a loose clearance, but his infield punt was snaffled by the wrong hands. Then a long, flat pass by Hayes opened up space for Metcalfe and Kerr on the left, but the supporting Gareth Flockhart was denied by Lewis's try-saving tackle. Henderson was half-through off a close-range scrum, but the opening was brought to naught by a forward pass.Finally, an overlap for Kerr was wasted when James McLaren's pass went astray. Admittedly, that was at halfway, but Kerr would surely have had the legs to make the running all of the way even on the soft pitch.Instead, Little had two more penalty goals, overturning Glasgow's lead for 22-17. Hayes responded with one in 61 minutes, but Ceri Sweeney, replacement for Little, had the last word with Pontypridd's sixth penalty goal.Pontypridd's win and Edinburgh's Friday night draw with Newport have shoved Glasgow down two pegs to eighth place in the table. Glasgow have therefore an extra reason for needing to beat Edinburgh at Myreside on Friday next week.Pontypridd - Gareth Wyatt; Gareth Jones, Sonny Parker, Jason Lewis, Nigel Simpson; Nicky Little, Paul John; Duncan Bell, Mefin Davies, Sven Cronk, Michael Owen, Robert Sidoli, Dale McIntosh (captain), Cory Harris, Glen Remnant. Substitutes - Richard Parks for Harris (half-time), Nick Kelly for Remnant (55 minutes), Jonathan Bryant for Jones (60), Ceri Sweeney for Little (71).Scorers: Try, Lewis; conversion, Little; penalty goals, Little (5), Sweeney.Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; Jon Steel, James McLaren, Andrew Henderson, Rory Kerr; Tommy Hayes, Andy Nicol (captain); David Hilton, Gavin Scott, Gordon McIlwham, Steve Griffiths, Nathan Ross, Roland Reid, Gareth Flockhart, Jon Petrie. Substitutes - Andy Hall for Ross (64), Dougie Hall for Scott (65), Tom McLaren for Flockhart (71).Scorers: Tries, Henderson, Kerr; conversions, Hayes (2); penalty goals, Hayes (2).Referee - Phil Fear (Llanharan).