Wizards weave magic in Whitland
2:30pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Sport
Aberavon scored three tries in each half, all converted by Jamie Davies, to show the gulf in class between the Premiership and Championship sections of the WRU set-up.
Davies celebrated his 400th game for Aberavon by showing his kicking skills to the full, only missing an early long-range penalty which fell just short on the heavy pitch at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn. He also orchestrated matters well as his backs always looked a little too pacy and experienced for the Borderers’ backline.
To be fair to the home side, they never gave up trying and their pack tackled like demons throughout, with skipper Andrew Jenkins leading by example from his No 9 berth and the back row of Dylan Richards, Zac France-Miller and especially Callum Tree getting through an immense amount of work.
There was no scoring in a tight first quarter where the sides sized each other up, with Gethin Jones, Marc Jones, Nathan Price, Dai Ebsworth and New Zealander Kieran White getting through a lot of work for The Borderers. But Aberavon always looked dangerous when they moved the ball, with full back Paul Bamsey a potent threat alongside centres Richard Thomas and Matthew Jenkins.
It was Thomas who opened the scoring after 27 minutes as Bamsey and Steffan Andrews created the space for the centre to slice through, and the same trio combined again six minutes later as Thomas claimed his second try in the far left corner.
Thomas almost put winger Andrews in at the same place but his final pass was adjudged forward – although there was no denying Aberavon as Richard Carter sped away when Whitland lost possession near half way and Davies added his third conversion with another super kick.
Up to this time The Borderers had been unable to maintain real periods of pressure close to Aberavon’s line but they had periods of pressure after the interval where Lee Glanville and Mike Georgiou tried to break through the middle and outside half Scott Newton’s clever little chip through was just covered in time by Bamsey.
At the other end a clever cross kick on 68 minutes by Jamie Davies bounced perfectly for winger Richard Carter to score on the right and Davies duly added the extra points, as he did late on after replacement Aled Richards had powered his way from close range in the 77th minute.
There was still time for the visitors to grab another score when another replacement in Steffan James scored wide out on the left and Jamie Davies rounded off the scoring with the final kick of the match.
There was no doubt that Aberavon were worthy winners but those final 14 points in the last four minutes certainly gave the final margin a flattering look in Aberavon’s favour – and did little justice to the amount of work undertaken by the battling Borderers.
Whitland: Johnny Thomas, Will Davies, Lee Glanville, Mike Georgiou, Dafydd Williams (Chris Smart), Scott Newton (Carwyn Jones), Andrew Jenkins (capt) (Daf Evans), Gethin Jones (Gary Lloyd), Marc Jones (Martin Nicholas), Nathan Price (Aled Richards), Kieran White, Dai Ebsworth (Adam Clarke), Dylan Richards; Zac France-Miller, Callum Tree.
Aberavon: Paul Bamsey, Richard Carter, Richard Thomas, Matthew Jenkins, Steffan Andrews (Craig Bevan), Jamie Davies, Joe Heatley (Will Batcup), Neil White (Rowan Jenkins), Ewan Yardley (Ieuan Davies), Andrew Clatworthy (Anthony Edwards), Gavin Ronan, Ian Moore, Lee Purnell (Ben Thomas), Chris Davies, Nathan Strong (Steffan Jones).
Referee: Martyn Lewis