Aberavon Quins 29 – Cwmllynfell 14
The Quins swept away the challenge of Cwmllynfell in fine style in a game, which saw both sides endeavouring to play open and expansive rugby.
Outstanding Quins flanker Chris Jones was given the task of keeping Cwm’s influential number 8 Jim Morgan under wraps and he did just that. A great tackle by Jones forced a penalty out of Morgan and the following line out saw Dan Webb securing possession, a front peel executed by Craig Cox split the defence and it was Jones who grounded for a spectacular try. Matty Potsuma’s conversion made a mockery of the tricky conditions.
Full back Mike Parfitt then gave supporters a reminder of what they have missed through his long lay off due to injury as he followed his kick ahead to charge down a would be clearance kick to score. Potsuma again smacked over the conversion.
If things looked too easy for the Quins they were given a sharp reminder of why Cwmllynfell are two places above them in the league when some powerful forward play allied to some over-ambitious play in the Quins defence allowed Alex Wilkins to cross at the corner. Craig Jones stunned the crowd by converting into the teeth of the wind.
Alex Condon enjoyed his first start at fly half for the Quins and always seemed in control with some astute kicking which found eager chasers on both wings Stuart Dighton and Steve Colarusso who both made significant contributions.
Gritty scrum half Nathan Flynn always looked to vary his play with the occasional dart from the base of the scrum and combined well with number 8 Webb. It was Chris Jones’ hounding of Morgan that gave a penalty chance for Potsuma and he duly obliged to stretch the home lead.
Mostly under the cosh, the Cwm pack gained temporary ascendancy and some really smart three-quarter play enabled Wilkins to cross for his second try at the corner flag. Jones again converted magnificently.
Just on half time Parfitt and Condon combined well to set up an attack which ended with hooker James Davies scoring wide out and Potsuma again struck the conversion.
Facing the wind in the second half the ten-point lead did not seem enough for the Quins but a spectacular aggressive defence forced a catalogue of errors from the visitors. The forward effort with the three Dans, Webb, Morgan & Phillips shirking nothing gradually ground down the will of the visitors.
Flankers Craig Cox and Chris Jones were immense with Liam Puckett and Webb dominating the possession from the line out Cwmllynfell were denied the quality possession needed to engineer a victory. Conditions got worse but the endeavour of both sides to play open rugby never waned.
Time was running out as the Quins pressed for the bonus point try. Great harrying play from Colarusso caused panic in the visitor’s defence and a five metre scrum controlled by Cox gave replacement scrum half Matthew Morgan a chance to dive over at the corner flag for the bonus point try.