Aberystwyth 31 – 7 Crymych
Aber showed their determination to prevail right from the kick-off when Crymych who had possession failed to make any progress against resolute and disciplined tackling by the home team. Aber forced them backwards and when Crymych conceded possession Aber attacked with a series of good rucks generating quick ball which Gruff Jones distributed wisely which forced Crymych to concede a few penalties, one of which was converted by outside half Steffan Rees to take an early lead. Crymych came back strongly and showed how dangerous they are with a clean break down the left wing. Aber winger Sion Cowdy showed great resolve to track back and put in a crucial tackle deep in the corner from where Crymych recycled the ball but Aber’s defence did really well to get back in position quickly and dealt with the situation as Crymych conceded a penalty and Aber were able to clear their lines. Aber dictated the play for the rest of the half and with their scrum beginning to dominate they put Crymych on the back foot. They had a try disallowed for crossing but were not deterred and came back strongly and eventually Crymych conceded a push-over try scored by captain Lee Evans and converted by Steffan Rees to make the score 10-0. Aber finished the half dominantly and scored a fine try when they stretched the Crymych defence firstly to the right hand edge and then quickly moved the ball to the left where prop James Plumridge created an opening for fellow front rower Owain Bonsall to plunge over. The try was converted by Steffan Rees to make the half-time 17 – 0 to Aber. This lead was fully deserved with Aber playing with purpose and discipline in attack with some exciting phases of off-loads and quick rucks causing problems for Crymych. The Aber defence dealt very well with anything that Crymych threw at them with some decisive tackling from the back row of Lee Evans, Paul Stubbs and notably Hopcyn Mathews and especially centres Steff Rees and Carwyn Evans.
Aber knew that Crymych would try and come back strongly in the second half and they stretched the Aber defence through their creative backs. Aber mainly dealt with these attacks with some very committed scrambling defence but they were breached eventually with winger Laurence Headlam scoring a try which was converted by Rhys Davies. Crymych were now playing with more confidence and Aber did very well to restrict them to that one score. They were prepared to attack from deep even from their own 22 and from one of these dangerous forays they unfortunately knocked on and Aber were able to regroup, settle down, and gradually edge their way back into the game. It was crucial for Aber to score next if they were to go on and win the game. There followed a long period of play with both teams showing their attacking intent in possession but both defences stood firm and resolute. With the game moving into the last 10 minutes Aber eventually broke the deadlock with a fine individual try from full—back and man of the match Mathew Hughes with a brilliant pick-up at speed he split the defence and sprinted round under the posts for Steffan Rees to convert comfortably. Crymych to their credit tried to run the possession they had from anywhere but unfortunately for them a dropped pass in their 22 gave replacement flanker Jordon Thomas the opportunity to hack the ball through and with another sublime bit of skill he picked up the ball and dived over near to the posts for Steffan Rees to cap a fine performance with another conversion. The second half mirrored the first with Aber scoring a flurry of points deep into the last few minutes of either half. This was a fine well-contested game of rugby with both teams showing a lot of attacking intent combined with committed and resolute defence. Aber did very well to secure a bonus-point win against a team who were just above them in the league table and responded very positively to criticism of their recent performances where it really matters on the field, with a disciplined, organised and fully committed performance and it could be said that they have re-discovered their mojo.
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