ABERAVON 25 BARGOED 7
(from Howard Evans)
Aberavon gained revenge over Bargoed for a defeat in October at Bargoed Park, yet oddly, the ‘Blues’ have lost all their 13 league matches since then.
While relegation now stares Bargoed in the face, Aberavon held on to their seventh spot in the table.
However, it was a poor game that was stop-start with one hold-up taking 12 minutes on a cold, windy and later a rainy afternoon.
Though Bargoed tackled extremely well, they were only able to score one try though they did prevent the ‘Wizards’ from gaining a try-bonus.
“I was delighted just to win,” said Aberavon head coach Jason Hyatt. “We had 70% of the territory, and probably 60% of possession, but Bargoed are always fiery opposition.
“We should have scored more, and we are frustrated that we were not more clinical.
“Our props, Rhys Forse and Chris Davies, were well beaten at Bargoed, but to their credit they played a big part in today’s scrum advantage for us.”
Aberavon led after 18 minutes when centre Joe Gage jinked his way over and after both captains, James Garland and Rhys Morgan, were yellow-carded after a huge punch-up, scrum half Rhodri Cole landed a penalty.
Then Aberavon kicked straight to the visitors and centre Ashley Norton ran well to send flanker Calum Davies over with fly half Josh Prosser converting well.
It stayed at 8-7 until the second half when Aberavon were awarded a penalty try and after a long delay that saw Bargoed wing Jordan Purcell stretchered off, Garland added a penalty.
Bargoed then had replacement prop John Lavender yellow-carded, but they still tried to throw the ball out only for No 8 Andrew Waite to intercept and tear over between the posts with Garland converting.
There was still time for a fourth try, but Bargoed easily held out.
Aberavon tried hard enough, but only had the bare 23 fit to start and then lost Rhodri Cole with injury after 42 minutes. Joe Gage tackled well, but he too was injured and hooker Ieuan Davies also limped off.
In the pack, Waite turns in some surprising bursts of speed, while Rhodri Hughes has proved a wonderful signing, and both have age very much on their side.
Aberavon 25 – 7 Bargoed
Chris Banfield; Shaun Pearce (rep Frankie Jones 54 min), Joe Gage, Rheon James, Jordan Condon; James Garland (capt), Rhodri Cole (rep Jacob Flynn 43 min); Rhys Forse (rep Jon Thomas 80+6 min), Ieuan Davies (rep Luke Davies 80+1 min), Chris Davies (rep Geraint James half-time), Rhodri Hughes, Sam Williams (rep Ben Thomas 76 min), Lee Purnell (rep Luke Joseph 51 min), Andrew Waite, Joe Tomalin-Reeves (rep Iwan Shenton 57 min).
Jordan Condon appeared from Aberavon Quins RFC; Frankie Jones & Iwan Shenton appeared from the Ospreys; Jon Thomas appeared from Baglan RFC.
T – Joe Gage, Penalty Try, Andrew Waite
C – James Garland
PG – Rhodri Cole, James Garland
T – Calum Davies
C – Josh Prosser
Man Of The Match:
1 – Andrew Waite
2 – Joe Tomalin-Reeves
3 – Rhodri Hughes
18 min: Aberavon – T – Joe Gage (5 – 0)
29 min: Bargoed – Yellow Card – Rhys Morgan
29 min: Aberavon – Yellow card – James Garland
30 min: Aberavon – PG – Rhodri Cole (8 – 0)
39 min: Bargoed – T – Calum Davies & C – Josh Prosser (8 – 7)
40 min: Bargoed – End Yellow Card – Rhys Morgan
40 min: Aberavon – End Yellow card – James Garland
40+4 min: Half Time
51 min: Aberavon – T – Penalty Try (15 – 7)
70 min: Aberavon – PG – James Garland (18 – 7)
76 min: Bargoed – Yellow Card – John Lavender
80+6 min: Aberavon – T – Andrew Waite & C – James Garland (25 – 7)
80+10 min: Full Time