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Ospreys claim narrow derby victory over Cardiff

By PA
(Photo by Kevin Barnes - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Cardiff fly-half Jarrod Evans missed a difficult penalty with the last kick of the game to give the Ospreys a second festive win as they triumphed 22-19.

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After defeating Scarlets 34-14 on Boxing Day, Ospreys were made to work much harder for their victory before a sell-out crowd at the Arms Park but a strong second-half performance from their pack saw them overturn a half-time deficit.

Sam Parry, Owen Williams and Dewi Lake scored their tries with Williams converting two and adding a penalty.

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Owen Lane, Liam Belcher and Josh Adams scored Cardiff’s tries with Evans kicking two conversions.

Cardiff were gifted an early lead when, five metres from his own line, young Ospreys full-back Jack Walsh dithered in dealing with a speculative kick ahead from Tomos Williams to leave Lane with a simple chance to score.

Evans converted from the touchline to give his side a 7-0 advantage at the end of a competitive first quarter.

Ospreys were encouraged by a strong burst from centre Keiran Williams, which saw him evade tackles from Cardiff forwards Rhys Care and Lopeti Timani, and they were further boosted when Parry tied up the scores by crashing over from a driving line-out.

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Heavy rain set in to make conditions extremely difficult before the home side scored their second try when Belcher, with strong support from Timani, finished off a driving line-out.

Both sides lost their try-scoring hookers to injury with Belcher and Parry departing in quick succession as Cardiff held on to their 12-7 lead to the interval.

Three minutes after the restart, Ospreys drew level following a melee on the hosts’ line.

A clearance kick from an under-pressure Tomos Williams went haywire with Owen Williams on hand to collect and force his way over.

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The visitors’ pack were becoming increasingly dominant and it came as no surprise when replacement hooker Lake scored their third try as the home eight again crumbled at a line-out.

There was to be no respite for the beleaguered Cardiff forwards as their opponents brought on international props Nicky Smith and Tomas Francis to provide further ammunition.

Cardiff looked likely losers but were given a boost when Ospreys No 8 Ethan Roots was yellow-carded for a tip tackle on Liam Williams.

They soon capitalised as Ospreys lost a scrum on half-way for Evans to fire across a superb cross-field kick which Adams collected to race 40 metres to score.

Evans converted from the touchline and it was 19-19 with 11 minutes to play before Owen Williams missed with the first penalty kick at goal in the match.

Cardiff’s Kirby Myhill was sin-binned for a high tackle before Ospreys were restored to full complement for the final five minutes and they made it count when Williams succeeded with the winner.

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