Aberystwyth 24 – 17 Gowerton
Aber wrapped up their first season in Division 1 West with a very creditable hard-fought win against Gowerton. Aber as it stands lie in fourth position in the league but could possibly be overtaken by Felinfoel or Crymych who both have one more game left to play. Aber kicked off on a fine sunny afternoon but it was Gowerton who dominated the early possession. The Aber defence coped very well with Gowerton using their big pack attacking close to rucks. Aber were eventually awarded a penalty and a fine kick from Steff Rees took play deep into the Gowerton 22. They repelled the first attack but couldn’t cope with the subsequent very effective drive from a clean line-out take and captain Lee Evans scored to take an early 5-0 lead. Gowerton then went on the attack and made progress through their big forwards and after a series of quick rucks influential scrum-half Ham scampered over under the posts. Full back G Davies converted to take the lead at 5-7. Aber scored next and what a fine try it was. Their backs released left winger Sion Cowdy who cut back infield beating two or three defenders before linking up with his forwards who retained possession after recycling quickly enabling the ever-alert prop James Plumridge to score near the posts for Steff Rees to convert. Gowerton then had probably their best period of the game with scrum-half Ham making a lovely break down the middle and after recycling the ball they moved it left and centre Osborne went over in the corner to level the score. After the kick-off they continued their assault on the Aber line and eventually big No 8 Davies forced his way over the line to take the lead at 12-17 which remained the score until half-time. Both teams were keen to attack in the first half with Gowerton favouring the more direct approach while Aber in possession were looking perhaps to move the ball wider. If there to be any criticism of Aber’s performance in the first half it was that they were guilty of falling-off some tackles in defence and seemed a little casual in looking after possession. A big plus was Aber’s kick-chase which had Gowerton under pressure on many occasions .Aber started the second half with more purpose and discipline and scored another cracking try shortly after. Mathew Hughes made a lovely clean break down the middle, Sion Cowdy was on hand to continue the movement and when he was tackled he managed to off-load the ball to the ever-present Paul Stubbs to score by the posts. Steff Rees converted to take the lead at 19-17. By now Aber were beginning to dominate proceedings and following another clean break by Mathew Hughes he was unable to find his supporting winger Roger Wilkinson and unfortunately a golden opportunity was missed. Aber continued to dominate and following another penalty kicked deep into the Gowerton 22 another good line-out take and a disciplined drive by the forwards replacement Carwyn Thomas was driven over to score to complete the scoring at 24-17.
Aber played well and seemed to get stronger as the game wore on despite the referee’s rather strange interpretation of straight scrums. Their defence was uncompromising and their kick-chase game was very effective. All-in-all this was a very satisfying performance and they fully deserved their bonus point win.
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