Aberystwyth 26 – 30 Felinfoel
What a strange game 56 points scored all at the clubhouse end which Aber contrived to lose. Felinfoel arrived with a bare 15 players which meant according to the laws that all scrums were non-contestable. This seemed to knock Aber off track completely and they produced their poorest first half performance for many seasons. Influential Felinfoel outside-half Aled Roberts kicked two early penalties awarded at the breakdown. Felinfoel were dominating possession at this point and it was no surprise when they released right winger Rhys Willis to score in the corner to lead 0 – 11. Aber gained some ball and mounted a series of attacks with forwards and backs combining well but there was a tendency to take the ball into contact when perhaps it would have been better to release supporting players. From an Aber attack on the Felinfoel 22 Aled Roberts intercepted a pass and ran clear to score which he also converted. He repeated the feat a few minutes later to score from half-way which he again converted. Inevitably it seemed Felinfoel scored their bonus point try on the stroke of half-time when full-back Glen Williams scored a try to make the score 0-30. Aber gave themselves a mountain to climb after a very first half performance which lacked any spark or dynamism and they failed to generate any quick second phase possession which allowed a very efficient Felinfoel defence time to regroup and nullify the predictable Aber attacks. Just after half-time Aber substituted their two props and put on two young back-rowers Steff Evans and Gareth Jones and went on the attack. Captain Lee Evans showed the way by running hard from depth he cut a lovely angle and stormed through unopposed to score near the posts for Steffan Rees to convert. Felinfoel seemed to be tiring at this stage and with Aber increasing the tempo of their game Paul Stubbs took a quick tap- penalty and ran strongly and when tackled gave a delightful off-load to the supporting Gareth Flynn to crash over by the posts. Steffan Rees again converted the try and the come-back was on. Felinfoel were now becoming a little bit desperate in defence and conceded two yellow cards – one for lying on the ball and the second being a little more controversial when their No8 deliberately knocked-on to thwart a series of Aber attacks. The slightly biased supporter might have called for a penalty try under the circumstances. Shortly after Aber moved a quickly taken tap-penalty through the backs and Dean Coleman who had a fine game in possession scored wide-out, unfortunately the conversion was missed. The next try was a beauty by Aber with Paul Stubbs turning the ball over deep in the Aber 22, the ball was moved quickly through the backs to release full-back Llyr Thomas. He was hauled down a couple of metres short of the line but Aber recycled the ball and Arwel Lloyd dived over to score near the posts. Steffan Rees converted to make the score 26-30 with about 5 mins left. Aber during this period created a couple of good chances to win the game but some wrong options were taken with the line seemingly at their mercy but Felinfoel who conceded another yellow card held out to probably deserve the win. A very flat untypical Aber performance in the 1st half left them with too much to win the game but the fact that they got so close at the end says a lot about their attitude and character as a squad.
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