21 November 2021 / Club News

Youth Team Put in a Fine Effort

Aberystwyth RFC Youth 24 – v – 41 Newcastle Emlyn RFC Youth

Aber Youth took on NCE Youth on Friday night in weather that was perfect for running rugby; and that is exactly what the spectators were treated to in this fast and entertaining match. It was clear that the visitors had a slight edge in height and weight over their Aber opponents but the hosts took them on with determined effort from the kick off.

The start however, was not very promising as NCE’s fast follow-up of a kick ahead led to their first try. This was well converted and Aber were 0 - 7 down within the first five minutes. The home side fought back and when the visitors were penalised 40 metres out Aber chose to go for touch rather than goal. This paid off as Llyr Davies peeled from the resulting lineout in a well-rehearsed move and scored near the posts. Euros Lloyd added the conversion and it was all square between the two sides at 7 – 7.

From the restart NCE took Aber back to their 22 metre line. They won quick ball from a ruck and spread it wide but Aber’s Leo Davies very neatly intercepted the ball and raced downfield to the half way line before giving winger Alex Spollen a scoring pass. He outpaced the NCE cover to score under the posts. Lloyd added the conversion and Aber were 14 – 7 ahead. The visitors hit back, attacking with a neat chip over Aber’s cover. A hack ahead saw them winning the race for the touchdown for their second converted try to even the score at 14 – 14. NCE added to their score and regained the lead when their inside centre tore through Aber’s defence to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but they were back in the lead at 14 – 19. The hosts closed the gap with an excellent penalty kick from Euros Lloyd just before half time with Aber marginally behind at 17 – 19.

NCE added two more unconverted tries to their score early in the second half after Aber’s momentum had been interrupted after one of one of their front row was stretchered off with a leg injury. The first of these tries was the result of a very lucky bounce into the hands of the visitors’ attackers. The second was the result of tired defending making it easy for NCE to cross for their fifth try, taking their lead to 17 – 29.

To their credit, Aber refused to become disheartened and when an NCE player was yellow carded the hosts moved up a gear and pressed hard on the opposition line. They were awarded a penalty and the ever-alert Shane Evans, who had led by example throughout the game, took a quick tap and crashed over for Lloyd to convert, closing Aber’s score and the gap to 24 – 29.

The home team found it difficult to maintain their concentration after their fine effort earlier and NCE capitalised on this by scoring two more tries, one of which was converted, to give a final score of 24 – 41, a margin that flattered the visitors very much even though they were deserved winners.

This Aber Youth squad is improving with every game, showing better understanding, better individual skill levels and, as a result, better teamwork. The pack held up well in the loose and the set pieces and the backs did well to survive the heavy pressure put on them by their opponents. The standard of kicking from the tee and from hand by Euros Lloyd was excellent and helped keep Aber in the game. Altogether, a fine effort that should encourage the whole squad and their coaches.

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