ABERYSTWYTH fully deserved their 20-13 victory in Division One West against Gorseinon at Plascrug, which was reward for their determined and disciplined defence, their impressive kick-chase and their ability to play the tricky conditions slightly better than their opponents.
Cambrian News reported “The heavy rain that started to fall just prior to kick-off made for very difficult playing conditions for the players to operate in and this, coupled with a rather pernickety referee, made for a stop-go contest with neither team able to generate a head of steam or much continuity in attack.
Aber were first on the attack and from a scrum on the 10 metre line Gruff Jones put through a lovely weighted grubber kick which Ian Ellis chased and forced a scrum five to Aber. Gorseinon initially defended the threat, but conceded a penalty which Steff Rees converted to take a 3 -0 lead.
There then followed a period of stalemate, with both defences dominating and the occasional knock-on contributing to a rather uneventful period of play.
Gorseinon were next to score when they kicked deep into the Aberystwyth 22. Aber defended the drive from the line-out, but conceded a penalty which was converted by Popham to level the scores.
Aber were stung into action and pressed Gorseinon back into their 22 where they tried to move the ball but knocked on.
Llyr Thomas took full advantage when he hacked the ball forwards and won the race for the touch-down. Steff Rees converted a good kick in difficult conditions.
A negative feature of Aber’s play was their reluctance to field high kicks cleanly and instead opted to let the ball bounce, a situation which put them under pressure needlessly on more than one occasion.
From one of these, Aber conceded a penalty which was kicked deep into the Aber 22. They won the line-out and with a disciplined driving maul they drove Southgate over to score, which was converted to level the scores at 10 points apiece.
Aber closed the half with a very good team try when they made inroads down the right wing with some timely off-loads, and when stopped recycled the ball quickly and moved it left.
Both backs and forwards handled superbly with Owain Bonsall in particular giving a lovely pass under pressure which eventually freed up Mathew Hughes to out-flank the defence and sprint over to score a fine try in the left corner to take a half time lead of 15-10.
The second half continued in much the same vein with defences largely dominating. A feature of Aber’s play was that they put Gorseinon under a lot of pressure by kicking the ball and with a very disciplined chase they penned Gorseinon in their own half.
They scored their third try when following a very good kick good kick-chase they forced Gorseinon to concede a scrum five. They pushed Gorseinon backwards but were stopped just short of the line, they quickly recycled the ball and Bryn Shepherd was on hand to dive over.
Gorseinon were very unlucky not to score next after with some timely interpassing they broke away down the right wing, but unfortunately bombed the final pass with the line at their mercy.
They kept pressing back and after sustained attack they seemed destined to score again but across came flanker Tom Evans, who put in a superb tackle to deny them.
With the last play called by the referee Gorseinon opted to take a penalty, converted by Popham, to earn a losing bonus point to make the final score 20-13 to Aber.
Of concern is their lack of authority and commitment under the high ball. Nevertheless they travel to take on Tenby United next Saturday with a lot of confidence” here.