ABERYSTWYTH emerged as convincing 62-10 victors against bottom-three rivals Kidwelly, and with games in hand on the sides above them, they will be looking to consolidate a mid-table position away at fifth-placed Dunvant this Saturday.
Cambrian News reported “The hosts were weakened by the absence of captain Arwel Lloyd, and also by a few positional changes for this ‘must-win’ match, and it took them a full half-hour to settle down into their play.
Kidwelly kicked off in ideal playing conditions and had the better of the opening 10 minutes, retaining possession and holding good territorial advantage.
But it was Aberystwyth who put the first points on the board as Steff Rees put over a 35 metre penalty for a 3-0 lead.
With their constant pressure in attack, and their blanket defence, the visitors continued to threaten and forced Aber to retreat. Aber, however, added to their score when a good kick out of defence by outside half Steff Rees was very quickly followed up by centre Sion Cowdy.
He caught the Kidwelly full-back close to their line. The visitors were penalised, and Dan Binks took a quick, tap penalty to cross under the posts. Rees again converted and the hosts were 10-0 ahead.
From the kick-off Aber worked their way downfield, and from a ruck near the Kidwelly line Dan Havard made a break and fed Bryn Shepherd for Aber’s second try, brilliantly converted from wide out by Rees, to increase the score to 17-0.
On the brink of half time Owain Bonsall was yellow-carded and Kidwelly put their first points on the board with a penalty to make the score 17-3 at the break.
Despite their commanding lead, Aber’s play had lacked fluency and organisation. Their coaches must have delivered a very stern lecture during the break, because they emerged a different side for the second half – scoring 45 points.
Centre Sion Cowdy scored the first of his four-try haul after a neat pass from Gruff Jones at scrum half put him over. Rees converted to put them 24-3 ahead.
Kidwelly hit back, forcing Aber to retreat to their 22 metre area. A beautifully weighted kick to the corner by No 10 Hewitt was well caught and touched down by winger Squires, giving the visitors their only try of the game. Gareth Rees converted to close the gap to 24-10.
From that point on it was all Aber. Cowdy scored his second, and Aber’s bonus point try after a good break by Ian Ellis with Bonsall and Shepherd supporting and offloading well. Another fine conversion from Rees made it 31-10. This was followed by an unconverted try from close range by the ever-present James Plumbridge, to widen the gap.
Both sides made substitutions but it was clear that Aber’s bench was the stronger. This, together with a number of injuries to some of Kidwelly’s players, gave the home side more opportunities to strike.
Aber’s sixth try came after some quick thinking by scrum half Jones, who took a quick tap penalty, made ground and fed Ian Ellis. His jinking, weaving run was well supported by Matthew Hughes who scored near the posts. Rees added the conversion to take Aber’s lead to 43-10.
Sion Cowdy’s third and Aber’s seventh try came from Kidwelly’s restart. Dan Binks fielded the kick and the ball passed through a few pairs of hands before it reached Cowdy. He still had a lot of work to do but with speed and determination he crossed for another converted try, for Aber to reach the half century mark.
Cowdy crowned a magnificent try-scoring exhibition with his fourth, and most spectacular try. He received the ball just inside his own half, looked up and weighed up his options before bursting through fully 50 metres for a try, converted again by Rees to make it 57-10.
The final try in Aberystwyth’s nine-try haul was their most clinical as the ball was fed from a ruck, Steff Rees looped around his inside centre to create an extra man and Ian Ellis took full advantage of the space created to score a fine try” here.