ABERYSTWYTH showed their determination to regain their place in the top half of Division One West as they served up a cracking game of rugby against high-flying Felinfoel at Plascrug on Saturday.
The Cambrian News reported “In a hard-fought contest, which was played at a furious pace at times, it was the visitors who finally came away with the spoils in an entertaining 39-22 away win.
Ground and weather conditions were ideal for fast, open rugby, and that is exactly what the supporters were treated to.
The visitors kicked-off and in the early stages play was confined to the middle of the pitch. But as the hosts applied more pressure they caught Felinfoel offside.
Llyr Thomas made no mistake with his penalty kick as Aber went into a 3-0 lead.
The home side went further ahead when Matthew Hughes at full-back ran strongly and chipped ahead. Felinfoel were caught offside again at the ensuing ruck and some quick thinking by flanker Paul Stubbs saw him take a tap penalty and crash over for a try, converted by Thomas.
The home side’s lead at 10-0, however, then brought the best out of the visitors.
The line-outs were evenly contested, but Felinfoel’s pack had an emphatic edge in the scrummages. In the three-quarters, however, there was little to choose between the two sides in the first half.
A penalty by No 10 Aled Roberts put them on the scoreboard and after further pressure he jinked over for a try, which he also converted to level the scores at 10-10.
From a penalty kick, Llyr Thomas found touch 10 metres out from the Felinfoel line. Aber won the ball and moved it right, and Paul Stubbs set up a ruck. The ball passed through three pairs of hands, before outside centre Carwyn Evans crossed for a try, converted again by Thomas, to put the hosts 17 -10 ahead at half-time.
A stern half-time talk from their coach left the visitors in no doubt what was expected of them in the second half and they responded by applying even more pressure on Aber in every phase of the game.
They were rewarded with a try when centre Jordan Dunne made a good break and found full-back Elliot Dawe in support to cross for a try, which Roberts converted to level the scores again at 17-17.
The score stayed the same for a considerable time, before Ian Ellis broke the deadlock on the hour with a superb individual try. Receiving the ball in his own half he side-stepped and dummied his way at speed along the touchline to score wide out. A difficult conversion was missed, but Aber were back in the lead at 22-17.
Again Felinfoel hit back with several waves of attack, involving both backs and forwards, and when Aber were caught offside 15 metres out Roberts made no mistake with his kick to make it 22-20.
It was still anyone’s game, but the visitors seemed to sense that victory was within their grasp and they upped the pressure on the hosts even more.
Aber’s tackling had been good throughout, but the excellent support play, ball retention and determination of the Felinfoel team was bound to tell in the end.
In the final quarter they scored three good tries to take the game out of reach.
The first came from reserve scrum half Luke Marsh after the visitors had been camped on the Aber line for some time. The conversion was missed, but they were 22-25 ahead and their tails were up.
The visitors then went further ahead when their powerful scrum walked the Aber eight across the try line for back row forward Johnny Roberts to touch down. The conversion was added and at 22-32 Felinfoel were now comfortably ahead.
As Aber tired, more mistakes came into their game and when they tapped a line-out ball back to their scrum half five metres from their line, the resulting fumble was seized on by Felinfoel lock Ashleigh Lloyd, who crashed over for the score.
Roberts added the conversion and the game ended at 22-39; a win that deservedly took them to the top of the table.
The match had been evenly contested for the first three quarters and the final score flattered the visitors to some extent.
Aber will learn and improve from this experience, and they have the skilled and experienced players necessary to achieve better results in their remaining games” here.