Gowerton 34 Aberystwyth 17
The score did not fully reflect the effort that Aberystwyth had put into the game, especially in the first half. The game started well for Aber with a lot of determined running and good ball retention, then a silly error of kicking the ball dead wasted all the hard work. This sadly was to prove a feature of the game for Aber when a lot of good play was thrown away by carelessness.
On 8 minutes, Aber took the lead after strong carrying from the forwards, a delightful chip from scrum half Gruff Jones was gathered on the bounce by centre Steff Rees who crossed near the posts. The try was converted by fly half Steffan Rees.
Gowerton replied when Aber gave away a penalty on the half way line and their forwards drove well from the resulting line out allowing scrum half James to twist over which centre Hammer converted. Soon the Gowerton flanker was yellow carded for a high tackle by referee Rhys Jones (Pencoed). Play then settled down between the 22s until a 60m kick from Llyr Thomas lead to some Aber pressure and Gowerton being penalised for plating the ball in the ruck, which Steffan Rees kicked.
Again another loose kick by Aber lead to another scrum on their 10m line, which Gowerton scrum half James capitalised on with a good grubber leading to centre Hammer going over and converting his own try. Varied kicking by the Gowerton half backs who, especially in the second half, used the slight slope and size of the pitch very effectively.
Aber came back strongly and after good pressure a loose Gowerton pass hit the post and centre Steff Rees following up well touched down. Steffan Rees converted. Aber continued to pressure the Gowerton line but gave away another careless penalty. With Aber expecting a kick to touch, Gowerton bravely ran the ball from deep inside their own 22 and after good support play centre Osbourne scored with Hammer missing the conversion. 19-17 to Gowerton at half time despite Aberystwyth playing the best rugby. Determined defence by Gowerton and some silly errors had led to Aber giving away points.
Prop James Plumbridge was replaced by Carwyn Thomas at half time because of injury. The scrum did not have time to settle down, when Gowerton used it to their advantage to push Aber back from a 5m scrum and Bradley scored, with Hammer converting.
Aber continued to work very hard and were probably guilty of trying too hard, which is why silly mistakes were made. Gowerton were defending much like Aber did at the start of the season, not committing to the breakdown and making themselves very hard to break down. Aberystwyth were now penalised for appealing a forward pass, which the referee did give and then changed strangely to a penalty against Aber. Hammer converted the penalty.
After 58 minutes prop Billy Thomas had to be replaced by Jordan Thomas, which now meant uncontested scrums. A brave tackle by Tom Slinger saved a certain try in the corner but a breakdown in communication led to second row sub Fisher crossing from the lineout. Jordan was yellow carded from the resultant kick off when he took out a player in the air. The game became quite scrappy with both sides making errors and Gowerton’s left wing was yellow carded for a late tackle.
Aber had tried hard but the result was spoilt by trying often for the miracle pass and trying for too much when gaps weren’t coming, especially when they were chasing the game.
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