Crymych undone by lively hosts

By Adam Hughes in Rugby

CRYMYCH were left with little reward from their long trek up the Cardigan Bay Coast as a rejuvenated Aberystwyth went on to register a convincing 31-7 home win in Division One West last weekend.

The Preseli men managed a solitary try from winger Lawrence Headlam after the break, but they were unable to prevent Aber from claiming a deserved double, having already won by 31-24 at Parc Lloyd Thomas earlier in the campaign.

The hosts made the perfect response to criticism of their recent performances as they secured a bonus-point win against a Crymych team who were just above them in the Division One West standings.

Aber showed their determination to prevail right from the kick-off, as Crymych failed to make any progress against some resolute and very disciplined tackling.

The homesters forced them back, and when the Preseli men conceded possession, Aberystwyth attacked with a series of good rucks, generating quick ball, which Gruff Jones distributed wisely.

Crymych were forced to concede a few penalties, one of which was converted by outside half Steffan Rees for an early lead.

The visitors came back strongly, however, and they showed how dangerous they are with a clean break down the left.

Aber winger Sion Cowdy showed great resolve to track back and put in a crucial tackle deep in the corner, from where Crymych recycled the ball - but Aber’s defence did really well to get back in position quickly and dealt with the situation as Crymych conceded a penalty and the home side were able to clear their lines.

Aberystwyth dictated the play for the rest of the opening half and with their scrum beginning to dominate they put Crymych very much on the back foot.

They had a try disallowed for crossing, but were not deterred and came back strongly and eventually Crymych conceded a push-over try, scored by captain Lee Evans and converted by Steffan Rees, to make the scoreline 10-0 to the hosts.

Aber finished the half dominantly and scored a fine try when they stretched the Crymych defence firstly to the right hand edge and then quickly moved the ball to the left where prop James Plumridge created an opening for fellow front rower Owain Bonsall to plunge over. Steffan Rees converted for a 17-0 interval lead.

This lead was fully deserved, with Aber playing with purpose and discipline in attack, with some exciting phases of off-loads and quick rucks causing problems.

The Aber defence dealt very well with anything that Crymych threw at them, with some decisive tackling from the back row of Lee Evans, Paul Stubbs and notably Hopcyn Mathews, and especially centres Steff Rees and Carwyn Evans.

Aberystwyth knew that their visitors would come back strongly in the second half and the visitors stretched the home defence through their creative backs.

Aber mainly dealt with these attacks with some very committed scrambling defence, but they were breached eventually with winger Laurence Headlam scoring a try, that was converted by Rhys Davies.

Crymych were now playing with much more confidence and the home team did very well to restrict them to one score.

They were prepared to attack from deep, even from their own 22, and from one of these dangerous forays they unfortunately knocked on and Aber regrouped.

It was crucial for Aber to score next if they were to go on and win the game.

There followed a long period of play, with both teams showing their attacking intent in possession, but both defences were resolute as the teams stood firm.

With the game moving into the last 10 minutes, Aberystwyth eventually broke the deadlock with a fine individual try from influential fullback, and also the hosts man of the match, Mathew Hughes.

With a brilliant pick-up at speed he split the Preseli men’s defence and sprinted round under the posts to score the try, for Steffan Rees to then convert comfortably.

Crymych to their credit tried to run the possession they had from anywhere but unfortunately for them a dropped pass in their 22 gave replacement flanker Jordon Thomas the opportunity to hack the ball through, and with another sublime bit of skill he picked up the ball and dived over near to the posts, for Steffan Rees to cap a fine display with another conversion.

The second half had mirrored the first, with Aberystwyth scoring a flurry of points in the last few minutes of the half.

It had been a fine well-contested game of rugby, with both teams showing a lot of attacking intent, combined with resolute defence, but Aber took their chances.

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