Following several positive results and performances of late, coupled with a comfortable result in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, a similar outcome was expected on Saturday down in Pembrokeshire.
Pembroke Dock 17 Aberaeron 30, Admiral National League 3 West A
As it was, Aberaeron faced a very different side, with a strong set of forwards and an exciting, pacy back line in Pembroke Dock.
There was a pretty positive start, with Rhodri Jenkins opening the scoring through a penalty followed by a conversion to winger, Steff D-J Jones’ try.
This gave Aeron a 10-0 lead after 20 minutes, but rather than provide the filip for them to kick on, PDQ began to assert themselves on the game.
This lead was quickly reduced and equalled, through a converted try and penalty of their own, which brought the half-time scores to 10-10.
The bad news for Aberaeron continued, with the loss of scrum half, Rhodri Thomas to a shoulder injury just before the half, forcing a re-shuffle in the back line with Morgan Llewelyn taking the reins at 9 and Steff D-J filling in at 15.
Urgency and tempo were needed as the second half began, and the Seagulls quickly got back on the scoreboard with quick phases and spreading of the ball wide, resulting in a good team try for the hooker, Rhys Bwtch Jones.
Though there was an improvement in attack, unfortunately lapses in defence led to another converted score for Dock, giving them the lead for the first time.
Aberaeron needed to raise their game, so they turned to their bench for inspiration.
This seemed to work, as the replacements, coupled with man of the match, Will James hauled the visitors back into it.
Firstly, no.8 James crashed over for a five pointer, and Jenkins added another penalty for a six point lead heading into the final quarter. In a dramatic finale, past-captain, Sion Evans showed all of his experience to get over the try line, securing the all important bonus point, with Jenkins adding the extras for a better looking scoreline.
A welcome five points for Aberaeron then, which keeps pressure on the league’s frontrunners, but there will need to be an improvement in performance as the season continues.