Sport

Gutsy Aber lose out to Tenby

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.

About the author

Dayne Stone

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