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Gutsy Aber lose out to Tenby

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Pembrokeshire KO Cup Final

Tenby 21

Aberystwyth 17

Run: Tom Slinger sets off on a run down the left wing

ABERYSTWYTH came up short in their quest for Pembrokeshire KO Cup glory as they were beaten 21-17 by Tenby on Friday night (May 12) in a thrilling final.

The game was played at Crymych’s Parc Lloyd Thomas Ground and a good crowd gathered to watch.

The Seasiders secured their league the previous weekend whereas opponents Aberystwyth finished their season on April 22.

However, Aber showed no signs of any ring-rust as they took the lead early on in the game.

After a lineout close to the line the ball was played to Matthew Hughes who spotted a gap to break through and score the opening try under the posts. Steffan Rees added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Just two minutes later Tenby broke with Jordan Asparassa down the right who passed for Jonathan Morgan to score under the posts. Ashley Sutton then added the extras to level the scores.

With twelve minutes on the clock Tenby took the lead for the first time as Ashley Sutton scored from a penalty.

Tenby began to get into their stride and Morgan soon went over for his second try of the match. Ashley Sutton had a difficult conversion from wide on the left and his kick fell short leaving the score at 15-7.

The Seasiders again pushed forward but after they were held up, Aber conceded a penalty within kicking range and Sutton picked the ball up before sending it sailing through the posts.

The wind was proving a problem for Aber as they were given a penalty moments later but with the wind in their faces, the kick was held up and fell just short.

Tenby were then guilty of giving the ball away cheaply, giving Aber a line out. From that Aber moved the ball to the right for Steffan Rees who scored in the corner to reduce the deficit. Rees then did excellently to send the conversion through the posts to make it 14-18.

The half time whistle signalled the end to a thrilling first half with both sides giving their all to pick the cup.

Rain began to fall at the start of the second half and that led to a number of players slipping or dropping the ball as they struggled to adapt to the conditions.

Aber started the second half well and had a series of chances to go in front but they were held up well by some good Tenby defence.

Five minutes in Tenby were down to 14 men as Luke Hansford was shown a yellow card and Steffan Rees sent the resulting penalty through the posts to bring the gap between the two teams to just a single point.

It was end to end stuff but neither side were able to make a breakthrough. Two Tenby players went for the same ball and when the ball spilled forward to an Aber player it looked like they might score but the pass was dropped.

Aber replacement Tom Slinger then went on a run down the left wing and he kicked the ball towards the line. The referee spotted a foul by the Tenby player going for the ball just in front of the line and awarded a scrum to Aber.

From that scrum it seemed Tenby had won the ball but the linesman called play back stating that a Tenby player had knocked the ball backwards and Aber had another chance. However, they could not take advantage and another dropped pass gave play back to Tenby.

With ten minutes to go Tenby gave themselves a bit of breathing space as Sutton sent over another penalty.

Aber thought they had scored with seven minutes to go but the linesman spotted a forward pass and play was called back just as Gruff Jones was about to cross the line.

They again won the ball back but another knock on gave Tenby the chance to seal victory but Sutton’s penalty was wide. Sutton then tried his attempt at a drop goal as the ball came back to him but his shot went wide.

Tenby held on and the final whistle sparked scenes of celebrations amongst the Tenby players and coaches.

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Sport

Aber settle for a point in entertaining draw

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IN the driving wind and rain at the eye of Storm Callum well over 200 hardy souls turned out for another exciting evening of JD Welsh Premier League football at Park Avenue on Friday night (Oct 12), and they were rewarded with an engrossing game.

With defences on top neither side did quite enough to make the breakthrough, though the hosts did end up numerically on top following Noah Edwards’ late red card.

Declan Walker, who had moved to right wing for this game, made the most of the extra space and fired an early howitzer wide.

With Aber’s Ryan Wollacott and Allan Goodall excelling at the back against the burly Jamie Breese, the visitors were creating chances and Matthew Jones cleared one goalbound effort off the line.

Danny Brookwell’s right footed shot was easy for Terry McCormick in Aber’s goal, then at the other end the superb Paolo Mendes curled in a fantastic ball to Ash Ruane, who fell in the box before pulling the trigger. Aber’s penalty cries however were in vain.

Breese and Brookwell had further half chances saved, then Rio Ahmadi for hit the side netting at the other end. Walker flashed a shot past the post and Ruane had a low effort parried in Aber’s late rally but both defences were on top in a high quality first half and the teams went in at 0-0.

Into the second half and the chances kept coming. Ryan Edwards, who was dancing down the wing all night had Town’s first effort, and then Goodall made the tackle of the night, a real goal saver to deny Breese who was through and seemed certain to score.

A nice move from Aber saw Mendes burst through the middle but his shot skewed wide, before McCormick was again called into action to superbly tip over Brookwell’s shot from the left side.

Walker saw another attempt off target, and then Ruane, who had been terrorising Ryan Williams all night, finally got goal side, but saw his goalbound effort go narrowly wide.

Walker tested Alex Ramsey in Caernarfon’s goal with a free kick before Gareth Evans hot the post with a curling effort from inside the area.

In the driving rain the chances kept coming with Ryan Edwards and Mendes the next to shoot in vain, and then with nine minutes to go Caernarfon’s Noah Edwards was show a straight red card for an ugly lunge at Declan Walker.

The hosts dominated the last ten minutes with sub Joe Phillips twice denied by Ramsey, but in truth the draw was a fair result and both sets of players should feel proud having put on a good evening’s entertainment in awful conditions.

The point takes Aber back up into eighth place and Nev Powell’s side now have two away games to try and kick on if they are to make a challenge for the top six, at Llandudno on Saturday (Oct 20, ko 2.30pm), and Llanelli on Friday,  October 26 (ko 7.45pm).

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Sport

Dominant Aber beat Pembroke in Plate

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ABERYSTWYTH went through to the second round of the WRU Bowl on Saturday (Sept 29) as they beat Pembroke 50-5.

Last season’s Bowl runners-up Pembroke were unable to field a full strength side however with a number of first team players injured or unavailable.

Although the score suggests a very one-sided match, Pembroke deserve credit for challenging and testing the visitors from the start to the final whistle and their effort deserved more than the five points they scored.

With a few enforced changes it took a while for Aber to settle down, but after an evenly contested opening ten minutes Sam Hesden drove downfield and offloaded to Dorian Jones. He was stopped and from the resulting ruck the ball was passed out along the backs. Llyr Thomas came into the line from full-back to create an overlap for winger Jack Rees to race over for a try that was very well converted by Steff Rees.

Pembroke hit back immediately and from a lineout near the Aber line they caught and drove over to open their account with Dom Colman credited with the try. The conversion was missed but at 5-7 ahead Aber had to work hard as the hosts won and retained possession very well and ran fiercely at the Aber defence. When Aber won the ball they used their backs intelligently and only a dropped pass prevented winger Matthew Wright from racing away to score.

The visitors worked their way upfield and after impressive carrying, supporting and offloading – a welcome feature of their game throughout the afternoon – skipper Arwel Lloyd burst on to a pass to cross for a try to put Aber 5-12 ahead.

Aber’s next try was a beauty. Scrum-half Griff Jones, making a welcome return to Aber colours, dummied and broke from a ruck near the half-way line, he raced upfield and passed to Matthew Hughes in support. He then ran with Hughes for the return pass to score a lovely try which Steff Rees converted to close the first half at 5-19.

The opening ten minutes of the second half was very evenly fought, but Aber’s tackling throughout the match was impressive. They put in a high kick downfield but the catcher’s pass was dropped. Jack Rees pounced to scoop up the ball and race over for his second try of the afternoon. Steff Rees put in a fine conversion and the visitors moved up to 5-26.

A good break by Matthew Wright then took Aber deep into the Pembroke half. When he was stopped, Griff Jones fed the rampaging Arwel Lloyd who ran through a number of tackles before offloading for James Plumbridge to feed try scorer Matthew Hughes.

At 5-31 Aber were comfortable and substitutions were made with no detriment at all to the team’s performance.

The visitors’ next try came from a Pembroke scrum 30 metres from their own line. The hosts won the ball but a dropped pass enabled Matthew Hughes to collect and feed Matthew Wright. He made ground before passing inside to the ever-supporting Arwel Lloyd who scored his second try of the day. Steff Rees converted and Aber moved on to 5-38.

The skipper claimed his hat-trick of tries from a lineout catch by Dan Binks. The drive forward collapsed but Lloyd was again on hand to barge over crowning an excellent performance which not even a bloodied head could spoil. Steff Rees converted to put Aber up to 5-45.

The visitors closed their scoring after an excellent long penalty kick by Llyr Thomas found touch near the home side’s 5 metre line. They won the lineout and fed the ball out for Owain Bonsall to pass to brother Steffan to score the final try. The conversion rebounded from the post but Aber were comfortably into Round 2 having won 5-50.

The second round draw was made earlier in the week and Aber’s win means has seen them earn a home tie against Bonymaen, with that fixture taking place on Saturday (Oct 27).

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Sport

Borth comeback sends Street packing

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BORTH United made it through to the first round proper of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Sept 29) as two late goals earned them a 2-1 win.

This much anticipated local derby began in glorious sunshine at Cae Piod and in a tense opening to the match the hosts took the lead within two minutes as Tom Williams’s glancing header from a corner kick beat Ben Willis.

Almost immediately after Williams was unlucky to see his low shot miss the post by inches.

Worryingly for the Borth management team, their side didn’t threaten Alex Pennock’s goal to such an extent the host’s defence were comfortable in dealing with the visitor’s forwards attacks.

Bow Street also had chances to double their lead but missed the target as they held a slender 1-0 lead at half time.

Bow Street held the upper hand as the second half got underway and Steffan Richards’ cross from the byline grazed the crossbar.

Borth, to their credit, also created some chances as Ryan Davies’s rasping low shot was turned for a corner by keeper Pennock.

As the end to end attacks continued Owen Roberts-Young’s superb shot was turned for a corner kick by keeper Willis.

The match reached the last ten minutes with the game still very much in the balance.

Borth’s Dion Ellis-Clark weaved his way from his own half past the Street defence and laid on a through ball for Ryan Davies to make no mistake with a low shot past Pennock for the equalizer.

The visitors sensed an unlikely winner and a long kick from Ben Willis wasn’t dealt with properly by the home defence and Justin Quinn seized on the loose ball and rounded the keeper for what proved to be the winning goal and send the superb Borth supporters euphoric on the sidelines.

It was an excellent cup tie and Borth’s reward for their victory is a game away to Llangefni Town in the first round proper.

The two teams will do battle once again on Saturday (Oct 6) as they meet at the home of Borth United for a Mid Wales League Cup first round tie, kick off 2:30pm.

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