(from Howard Evans)

Powerful centre Tom Hughes crashed over five minutes from time to gain victory for the North Walians after an absolute thriller at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

Aberavon gained two points and scored 5-4 on the try-count, but man-of-the-match Hughes scored twice and took his tally to eight this season.

For all the wonderful action by both sides it was the RGC defence that was outstanding as Aberavon never stopped battering at them.

Aberavon's five tries brought only one conversion, but skipper James Garland was inches wide with his touchline attempts.

As it was, Garland scored two superb tries though RGC had led 20-12 after 30 minutes and his superb cross-kick saw wing Chris Banfield leap to score and put Aberavon ahead 22-20 some 15 minutes later.

How both sides kept the pace up from start to finish was amazing and though Aberavon have hardly played better this season, 'The Goggs' still pulled it out.

Wing Harri Evans gave RGC a 6-minute lead before Garland's first try came with a scorching run, but flanker Will Bryan pulled it back and then Hughes raced in with RGC leading 20-17 at the interval.

Banfield's try was followed by a Jacob Botica penalty and then Garland was over again to put Aberavon ahead 27-23 before Hughes snatched victory with Botica converting.

Ben Jones, Luke Joseph and props Mike Burgess and Jon Thomas all went well in a great effort by the pack, while Will Price had a fine game at centre.

Aberavon - Tries: J Garland 2, B Jones, S Pearce, C Banfield.  Con: J Garland.
RGC - Tries: T Hughes 2, H Evans, W Bryan.  Cons: J Botica 2.  Pens: J Botica 2.

Aberavon 27 - 30 RGC 1404

Aberavon Team:
Liam Popham; Shaun Pearce, Will Price, Rheon James (rep Steffen Williams 80+3 min), Chris Banfield; James Garland (capt), Jacob Flynn (rep Iwan Temblett 79 min); Mike Burgess (rep Jordan Walters 61 min), Luke Davies (rep Ieuan Davies 75 min), Jon Thomas (rep Rhys Forse 57 min), Ben Thomas (rep Jacob Blackmore 79 min), Ben Jones, Lee Purnell (rep Rob Dudley-Jones 58 min), Luke Joseph, Craig Price (rep Joe Tomalin-Reeves 52 min).

Jordan Walters appeared from the Ospreys; Iwan Temblett appeared from Trebanos RFC; Jacob Blackmore appeared from Waunarlwydd RFC.

Aberavon Scorers:
T - James Garland (2), Ben Jones, Shaun Pearce, Chris Banfield
C - James Garland

RGC 1404 Scorers:
T - Thomas Hughes (2), Harri Evans, Will Bryan
C - Jacob Botica (2)
PG - Jacob Botica (2)

Wayne Davies

Man Of The Match:
1 - Will Price
2 - Jacob Flynn 
3 - Luke Joseph 

Time Line:
05 min: RGC - T - Harri Evans (0 - 5)
11 min: Aberavon - T - Ben Jones (5 - 5)
23 min: Aberavon - T - James Garland & C - James Garland (12 - 5)
28 min: RGC - T - Will Bryan (12 - 10) 
37 min: RGC - T - Thomas Hughes & C - Jacob Botica (12 - 17)
40+2 min: RGC - PG - Jacob Botica (12 - 20)
40+7 min: Aberavon - T - Shaun Pearce (17 - 20)
40+8 min: Half Time
45 min: Aberavon - T - Chris Banfield (22 - 20)
56 min: RGC - PG - Jacob Botica (22 - 23)
66 min: Aberavon - T - James Garland (27 - 23) 
74 min: RGC - T - Thomas Hughes & C - Jacob Botica (27 - 30)
80+5 min: Full Time