Avenging the first defeat of the season against Pontypridd was going to take character and the Aberavon Wizards didn’t disappoint in a 22-8 victory against Llandovery. Leaders Pontypridd also lost which means that the wizards are now a mere six points behind in second.
Don’t let the scoreline fool you though, because Llandovery made life difficult for the hosts. The first try came to Aberavon through Rob Dudley-Jones, who surged over the try line for the first try of the afternoon. Another try followed on 20 minutes – this time the Wizards capitalising on a Drovers’ mistake and Baker kicked for Matthew Jenkins to collect and score the second try.
James Garland was on hand to notch the conversion.
Llandovery got back into the game by virtue of a rolling maul that culminated in Richard Brooks touching the ball down and Jack Maynard converting between the posts. Aberavon, however, are emerging as very adept at countering opposition attacks and this proved the case again when Joe Tomalin-Reeves turned the ball over and raced towards the half-way line.
The away side’s defence halted the move momentarily but David Pritchard showed the Drovers a clean pair of heels as the attack developed. He exchanged passes with Thomas and he set up Jonny Phillips with acres of space to gain another try. Garland kicked the conversion perfectly.
The next 42 minutes would see no score and two yellow cards for Tomalin-Reeves and Joe Gage. The match was every bit as enticing, frenetic and fiercely contested as you would expect of a Principality Premiership clash.
So too were the free-flowing moves that have seen Aberavon reach the dizzy heights of second in the table. Whether they can raise a trophy remains to be seen, but they are certainly raising expectations in the process.
Next up: Cross Keys on Saturday 22 October at 2:30 pm.
Aberavon – J Phillips; J Baker (J Gage 53), M Jenkins, Joe Thomas, S Andrews; J Garland, D Pritchard; R Jenkins (R Force 78), I Davies (capt), A Clatworthy (Jon Thomas 67), B Jones, B Davies, J Purnell (C Davies 58), R Dudley-Jones, J Tomalin-Reeves.
Tries – R Dudley-Jones, M Jenkins, J Phillips. Cons – J Garland 2.
Llandovery – W Thomas; J Hodson (Rhodri Davies 64), M Evans, R Jones, A Warren (J Cowley 40); J Maynard, L Rees; W Jones (D Howells 72), L Lewis (capt) (D Hughes 47), G Cunniffe (B Watkins 47), M Harbut (B Griffiths 57), P Day, R Rees (R Morgans 74), R Brooks, S Worrall.
Tries – R Brooks. Cons – J Maynard.
Man Of The Match: