glasgow 59

pontypridd 14

Glasgow rugby may have found a new hero last night in the shape of Roland Reid. On his first start on the wing, the 22-year-old, 6ft 4in, 18-stone converted flanker rattled in a hat trick of tries to help his side claim their first Celtic League win.

In fairness, however, his was one of several impressive performances by the back division, who shared seven of their side's nine tries as Pontypridd were overrun.

The 4000-plus crowd warmed instantly to the man reputed to be the fastest in the Scottish game as he ran round one man then over another in an early charge down the left, and while still far from the finished article, he went on to fulfil that early promise in some style.

His introduction alongside Glenn Metcalfe offered the side the finishing power that prevented them from turning an impressive hour's work into a win over Ulster seven days earlier, the Scotland full back looking back to his best only two games into a long-awaited comeback.

Richie Dixon, their coach, was grim-facedly determined not to get carried away with the win, however, stressing that this effort, coming just two days after what was largely a second-string Glasgow side had themselves conceded 50 points at Bridgend, must be treated only as an indicator of what his men are capable of.

''I am encouraged, but we are still not as clinical as we should be and could have had more points in the first half,'' he said.

''I am still furious about Wednesday night which is why I am not as cock-a-hoop as you might expect because I know that if the team keeps the ball the way they did tonight then we can live with anyone.

''We now have to make sure that this is not a one-game wonder.''

The home side took confidence from an early score set up by the strong running of Andy Henderson, the lanky centre who has been among the team's top performers in early season.

He forced his way into the 22 and when the ball was shifted down the line, Gordon Bulloch appeared in the line and got it through his hands quickly to put James McLaren through, the centre then unselfishly presenting Metcalfe with the score.

Having dominated the set-piece seven days earlier, the Glasgow pack were not getting things all their own way this time. Nevertheless, they still had enough of the game to feel frustrated at not having extended their lead by the time Richard Johnston was sin-binned for taking Reid out off the ball when the wing man would certainly have taken a scoring pass from Tommy Hayes, who was in fine running form, though his first- half goal-kicking again left much to be desired.

Glasgow took advantage of the extra man when Hayes brilliantly delayed his pass to put McLaren through again, the stand-off looping to take the return pass which put him in under the posts.

From the restart, Glasgow suffered a shock when Alex Lawson broke through two tackles with ridiculous ease and once into the 22 put Gareth Wyatt in for an easy score. However, their response was emphatic as McLaren broke deep into opposition territory, before Bulloch again appeared in the line as the ball was shifted left to make the pass which gave Reid the room to gallop around his man.

Johnston returned only to be blasted aside by Reid on his way to his second try after Metcalfe's basketball pass set him free following more excellent running from Henderson and McLaren.

As the game moved into injury time, a scintillating burst of pace on a clever angle saw Hayes leave a string of defenders in his wake, Jason White picking up at the base of the ensuing close- range ruck to rumble over unstoppably.

The result was clinched early in the second half when McLaren made an interception just inside the visitors' half and roared away for a try his first-half efforts had richly deserved, yet Pontypridd showed admirable fight and dominated for much of the half until Dale McIntosh, their captain, went over following a break by Ceri Sweeney, their replacement stand off.

Once again, however, Glasgow responded magnificently, with Metcalfe forcing his way down the left touchline, fending off the last man before finding Reid charging up in support to take the pass which saw him in for his hat trick.

Moments later, Bulloch powered his way into the 22, setting up the position from which Metcalfe broke right to put Steel in for an easy score. With everything now going Glasgow's way, Hayes knocked a penalty into the right corner which, following Jason White's clean take, resulted in Lee Harrison driving through the middle of the lineout to score on the right.

Glasgow G Metcalfe; J Steel, J McLaren (J Stuart 62), A Henderson, R Reid (J Stuart 16-18); T Hayes, A Nicol; C Blades, G Bulloch (G Scott 75), D Hilton (L Harrison 56), N Ross (A Hall 72), J White, G Simpson, D Macfadyen (G Flockhart 72), J Petrie

Pontypridd C Williams; G Wyatt,

S Parker, J Lewis (J Colderley 50),

R Johnston; A Lawson (C Sweeney 55), P John (G Baber 70); G Jenkins, M Davies (F Vuniploa 70), D Bell (S Sanara 61), J Griffiths (N Kelly 57), B Cockbain, R Field (M Owen 45), R Parks, D McIntosh

Referee A Rolland (Ireland)

Scoring sequence (Glasgow first): 7-0, 14-0, 14-7, 21-7, 26-7, 31-7 (half-time); 38-7, 38-14, 45-14, 52-14, 59-14

Scorers Glasgow, tries Metcalfe (4), Hayes (27), Reid (33, 36), White (40), McLaren (46), Reid (72), Steel (74), Harrison (79). Cons Hayes (4, 27, 33, 46, 72, 74, 79). Pontypridd, tries Wyatt (29), McIntosh (68). Cons Wyatt (29), Sweeney (68)