ABERAVON 13 SWANSEA 9
(by Howard Evans)

Aberavon moved back up to third in the West as they levelled on points and tries with Llanelli, but the extra win moved them over the Scarlets (or is it the ex-Scarlets?).

Let us not pretend it was a great game - it wasn't. But, Aberavon had the man of the match by a country mile in young wing Mike Wilson, who excited the crowd every time he went near the ball.

His raw talent, his great enthusiasm and his sheer guts to never shirk a tackle or a challenge was worth the entry fee on its own. He may not be a Jay Baker (yet), but he excites and boy does he give everything.

Another player who has never failed to give his all is Alex Jeffries. He is a little bit above his normal weight, but it was good to have him back and he, like myself, will know that when your opponent wants to continually fight you, then you have got him beat.

Aberavon defended well and Swansea look livelier behind the scrum with full back Rhys Williams playing well, but once again we had a referee who is super-fit and super-useless. The consolation for both sides was that England's referees are no better than ours.

Owen Howe missed an early penalty and our former No 8 Rory Gallagher was binned before Aberavon drove over from a scrum and it appeared that Rob Dudley-Jones, a former Swansea player, was credited with the try that James Garland converted.

Then Howe landed a penalty, Garland kicked one, Howe missed one, Howe kicked another and Garland kicked another, Ieuan Davies was carded and Howe kicked another. Really exciting (!) and Chris Banfield was unlucky not to be credited with one superb effort.

Swansea flanker Emyr Williams took some very bad verbal abuse from a spectator - who is not an supporter - but the spectator had obviously never watched the old Aberavon-Neath games, nor was he ever a player. To him I would advise - do not come back.

Aberavon have a big one at Carmarthen Quins next Saturday (1.30pm) so the team do need a lot of support please. It can only be hoped that we come back to form with Chris Banfield and Rheon James looking to put one over their old mates.

Scorers.
Aberavon - Try: Rob Dudley-Jones. Con: James Garland. Pens: Garland 2.
Swansea - Pens: Owen Howe 3.




Score:

Aberavon 13 - 9 Swansea

Aberavon Team:
Liam Popham (rep Jonathan Phillips 65 min); Chris Banfield, Will Price, Rheon James, Mike Wilson; James Garland (capt), Jacob Flynn; Mike Burgess (rep Jordan Walters 64 min), Ieuan Davies (rep Luke Davies 83 min), Rhys Henry (rep Alex Jeffries 11 min), Ben Thomas (rep Ben Jones 77 min), Ben Davies, Lee Purnell, Rob Dudley-Jones (temp rep Luke Davies 74-83 min), Joe Tomalin-Reeves (rep Luke Joseph 81 min).

Replacements not used: Steffen Williams & Jacob Blackmore.
Alex Jeffries & Jordan Walters appeared from the Ospreys; Mike Wilson appeared from Swansea Uplands RFC; Jacob Blackmore appeared from Waunarlwydd RFC.

Aberavon Scorers:
T - Rob Dudley-Jones
C - James Garland 
PG - James Garland (2)

Swansea Scorers:

PG - Owen Howe (3)

Referee:
Calum Howard (RFU)

Man Of The Match:
1 - Rob Dudley-Jones
2 - Lee Purnell
3 - Mike Wilson

Time Line:
27 min: Swansea - Yellow Card - Rory Gallagher
30 min: Aberavon - T - Rob Dudley-Jones & C - James Garland (7 - 0)
33 min: Swansea - PG - Owen Howe (7 - 3)
36 min: Aberavon - PG - James Garland (10 - 3)
37 min: Swansea - End Yellow Card - Rory Gallagher
40+5 min: Half Time
41 min: Swansea - PG - Owen Howe (10 - 6)
53 min: Aberavon - PG - James Garland (13 - 6)
72 min: Aberavon - Yellow Card - Ieuan Davies
73 min: Swansea - PG - Owen Howe (13 - 9)
80+3 min: Aberavon - End Yellow Card - Ieuan Davies
80+3 min: Full Time