Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 7 - 21 Newcastle Emlyn RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
30 December 2019 / Team News

Titanic Battle

Aberystwyth 7 – 21 NEWCASTLE EMLYN

This eagerly awaited local derby drew a bumper crowd to Plascrug and they witnessed a full-blooded cracking encounter between two very committed and focused teams. Both teams were forced to make changes to their line-ups due to illness, injury or unavailability but this did not detract one iota from this intriguing match. Overall NCE deserved the win, thereby maintaining their unbeaten run in the league, but Aber can justifiably feel slightly aggrieved that they didn’t achieve at least, a losing bonus point out of the game. This was denied them late in the second half by an interception try by NCE during a period of Aber pressure. Again Aber lost out to the curse of the long miss-pass and it would be interesting to know whether they have actually scored more tries than they have conceded through the use of this option.

Emlyn started the game full of pace and purpose and stretched the Aber defence on numerous occasions by moving the ball wide coupled with judicious use of blind-side attacks which the Aber defence initially coped with but surely something had to give in the face of this relentless pressure. Eventually the Aber defence was breached twice in quick succession close to rucks by outside-half Llyr Davies, both tries being converted by winger Davies to take the lead at 0 – 14. Aber to their credit kept plugging away and got back into the game through quick-thinking scrum half-half Llyr Thomas who marked the ball in his own 22 and scanned the possibilities to attack. He took a quick tap, ran and kicked into an open field, centre Sion Cowdy came steaming through the middle to outstrip the defence, pick up the ball up on the run and sprint in to score under the post. This try was converted by Steff Rees. Aber for the remainder of the half exerted pressure of their own through a prolonged sequence of close forward drives with skipper Lloyd well to the fore but they were met with a very resolute NCE defence which denied Aber the opportunity to speed up the attacks. Thus the story of the first half was NCE racing into an early lead, Aber striking back skilfully and starting to exert pressure of their own. During half-time Aber had to make a number of positional changes following the withdrawal of full-back Steff Rees with a leg injury. The pattern continued with Aber attacking through the forwards being met with stiff defence by NCE who broke away on a couple of occasions and bombed good scoring opportunities. Aber with their tails up went back on the attack and took the game to NCE. Following  a very efficient line-out take and drive by Aber the ensuing penalty was kicked deep into the NCE 22 from which they set up a number of close drives which were repelled but they eventually tried to move the ball wide but were denied a try by the curse of a long miss-pass which was deemed to be forward when easier options were available. With both teams going for the win NCE hit the post with a penalty but scored next when full back Freeman intercepted a long Aber miss-pass and scampered over from half-way to score. The try was converted. Aber came back full of resolve and set up a prolonged attack in the NCE 22 which was met with an equally resolute defence.

Both teams deserve a lot of credit for their committed approach to the game which was a very fine advert for Division 1 rugby and congratulations to NCE for continuing their unbeaten run.

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