NEWPORT secured a famous 29-27 win over former champions Pontypridd in a thrilling encounter under the floodlights at Rodney Parade in the Principality Premiership, writes Jay Bayford.

The lead changed hands several times with both sides claiming a bonus point but Matt O’Brien’s late penalty sealed Newport’s first win of the season.

It had started well for the hosts as they took an early lead. From their own 22, they went through the phases, which allowed Morgan Burgess to touch down under the posts. O’Brien added the conversion.

But Ponty responded well with a quick-fire double from Dale Stuckey and Lloyd Rowlands to edge ahead.

The Valley Commandos continued to dominate proceedings and increased their lead thanks to a penalty. Sweeney putting his earlier misses behind him to nail the kick from close range.

But the hosts improved as the game went on and, just like for the first try, Newport continued to play it patiently from right to left until Jon Morris was played into space and he dived over in the corner.

Newport were on the front foot and were helped when Ponty skipper Dafydd Lockyer was sent to the sin bin for the remainder of the first half.

But despite their numerical disadvantage, Ponty extended their lead as Stuckey finished off a fine move to grab his second try of the night and Sweeney landed the conversion.

Newport started brightly in the second half and pulled a try back almost immediately when Wes Cunliffe showed impressive strength and skill to hold off several challenges and slam the ball down over the whitewash with an outstretched hand.

That seemed to spur Newport on as they continued to pin Ponty back and another neat passing move ended with replacement Corey Howells going over in the corner to secure a bonus point for the hosts. O’Brien then edged Newport further ahead with the conversion.

But Ponty came roaring back and replied straight away through Will Davies-King with Diggy Bird’s conversion restoring their one-point lead.

However, the Black and Ambers were not to be denied a famous victory and O’Brien was on target with a late penalty to seal the win.

Newport: Tries – M Burgess, J Morris, W Cunliffe, C Howells; Con – M O’Brien (3); Pen – M O’Brien.

Pontypridd: Tries – D Stuckey (2), L Rowlands, W Davies-King; Con – C Sweeney, D Bird; Pen – C Sweeney.