Pembrokeshire KO Cup Final
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.
Boxer set to compete in Germany
CARDIGAN light-welterweight boxer Ben Rees-Davies returns to the scene of his greatest performance this week (Oct 19-22) when he competes in the prestigious Eindhoven Box Cup in Germany.
Seventeen months ago, the talented 25-year-old acquitted himself superbly by winning a bronze medal in a tournament which invariably draws some of the finest amateurs in Europe and the world.
Rees-Davies – a lance corporal in the Royal Welsh Regiment – eventually lost in the semi-finals to Russian number one Arman Zakaryan, the 2015 European champion and an Olympic qualifier.
A series of injuries mean that the former Cardigan ABC man has not boxed since losing in the Welsh Championships quarter-finals in March.
But Rees-Davies says he is now fully fit, fuelled by the nagging belief he has never quite fulfilled his potential – and by the fact he may soon have to hang up his gloves.
“I’m entered into an 18-man strong group with boxers from all over the world, it’s a Commonwealth Games qualifying tournament so there will be a fantastic pedigree of boxers,” he told the Herald.
“I’ve had a few frustrating injuries since the Welsh Championships so I haven’t been active, but if anything it’s made me more hungry to get back in the ring and achieve big things this year.
“For me it’s a massive season, and it could be my last so I’m aiming to achieve as much as I can and show my true potential once and for all.”
Rees-Davies said the time was approaching when he would have to focus wholeheartedly on his Army career.
He explained: “I want to progress with promotion. I love boxing with all my heart, but I have to think of my career also.”
He said he was ‘eternally grateful’ to long-time friend Anthony Studley, of Hair Lounge 4 Men in Cardigan – himself a former Cardigan ABC boxer – for helping him with funding.
“I massively appreciate help from him and he’s a credit to the town,” he said.
Aber knocked out by Reds
Aberaeron • 1
Llanelli Town • 6
JD Welsh Cup
LLANELLI TOWN proved too strong for Aberaeron last Saturday (Oct 7), as they were knocked out of the JD Welsh Cup by their Welsh League Division 1 opponents.
With the pitch looking immaculate the scene was set for a memorable cup tie but unfortunately that dream only lasted five minutes.
Aberaeron, who have regularly conceded easy goals from lost possession, were left in no doubt that it should be safety first.
A cleared defensive header from an early corner for Llanelli should have been dealt with but possession was lost and a quick cross was easily headed in to the net.
Before Aberaeron could settle, Llanelli’s star player Lee Trundle beat three players to give himself a sight on goal and he thundered an unstoppable shot in off the underside of the bar.
Aberaeron woke up and Matty Davies was twice through on goal but no end product. Llanelli were passing well and Lee Trundle found himself one on one against Sion Clark. He turned cleverly leaving the defender in his wake and was unceremoniously upended for a clear penalty. Trundle drove it hard to the keeper’s left for number three.
Once more Aberaeron came in to the game, but passes were awry and often intercepted. A long clearance from Llanelli was not caught by Edwards, the Aberaeron keeper and the ball was easily tapped in to an empty net.
The second half was an attempt at a pride salvaging operation and Aberaeron gave a good account of themselves without finding the opponents net.
Trundle was kept at bay for the majority of the half but his trickery once more led to him being fouled in the box and he, once more, slammed the ball to the keeper’s left for five nil.
Aberaeron did get a consolation goal from the penalty spot from Matty Davies before another calamitous defending error gave Llanelli a sixth.
The score did not truly reflect the game but it reflects the ruthlessness of an ex professional striker who, clearly writes his own headlines- quite deservedly.
For Aberaeron, these are worrying times and the next three fixtures are ‘must wins’.
If Aberaeron cannot eradicate the problem of losing simple possession then it’s going to a long and very difficult season.
Aber climb off the bottom
Aberystwyth Town • 0
Barry Town • 0
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN earned themselves a point to climb off the bottom of the JD Welsh Premier League table last Saturday afternoon (Oct 7), as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Barry Town United at Park Avenue.
Both sides missed good opportunities to win the game in the second half, but the game ended in stalemate as both managers settled for a point apiece.
Aber manager Nev Powell made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday’s Nathaniel MG Cup defeat to Airbus UK Broughton, with John Owen replacing Cledan Davies, which meant Mathew Jones started at left back for the first time in his Black and Greens’ career.
Both sides started the game cautiously, with the game lacking any real rhythm through the first 15 minutes. Barry came closest to opening the scoring on 16 minutes, as Chris Mullock somehow pulled off an instinctive point-blank save from Kayne Mclaggon’s close range shot.
Mclaggon was forced off through injury shortly afterwards, and Macauley Southam fired a long-range effort over the bar for the visitors.
Aber continued to struggle to get any threatening attacking play going, with Ryan Wade shooting well wide of the post on separate occasions.
The half time whistle could not come soon enough for the 233 spectators at Park Avenue.
The first 15 minutes of the second half again proved to be rather uninspiring for the neutrals, as both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances.
On 60 minutes, Aber’s midfield maestro Malcolm Melvin, and soon after striker Craig Hobson were introduced in place of Ryan Wollacott and Joe Phillips, with manager Nev Powell looking for some fresh impetus from his side.
Aber began to slowly crank up the pressure on the visitors’ rear guard, as Ryan Wade shot straight at Barry keeper Mike Lewis, before Hobson almost converted an in-swinging Ashley Young free kick.
Barry themselves continues to look dangerous on the counter attack with the pace of wide men Tyrrell Webbe and Drew Fahiya, but on 87 minutes Aber again came close to the breakthrough as Hobson headed Wade’s cross into the side-netting.
Aber looked for one last chance as the game headed into three minutes of added time, and they very nearly found the winner in the dying seconds as right back Declan Walker brought the ball down from the sky and fired a low shot towards goal, only for it to hit the outside of the post.
This was another occasion where Aber have to settle for a point when it could so easily have been three, but manager Nev Powell will take encouragement from the organisation and defensive qualities his side showed today, keeping their first clean sheet in the league this season.
Town now turn their attentions to their next JD Welsh Premier League fixture away to Llandudno, on Saturday (Oct 14).
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