Fishguard & Goodwick 25

Aberystwyth 27

WRU Plate District H1

Aber travelled to Fishguard on Saturday for their second game in the WRU H1 Plate Competition and were very fortunate to come away with a win against a club that is one division below them in the National League - West.

The visitors were the first to score as outside half Matthew Hughes kicked a penalty for obstruction. However, the hosts hit back immediately with a solo try from their No10, Griffiths. He added the conversion. After good inter-passing involving backs and forwards Aber worked their way downfield for Hughes to break through the home side’s defence to run 20 metres to score a well-worked try. This went unconverted but Aber were narrowly ahead at 7-8.

The visitors again worked their way patiently downfield keeping possession using backs and forwards and it was entirely with the run of play that Bryn Shepherd went over for their second try. Hughes added the conversion and Aber were 7-13 ahead at half time.

The first half had been more competitive than the margin suggested as Fishguard had shown themselves to be a well-drilled team playing with cohesion and good understanding. Their skilled teamwork was to threaten Aber even more in the second half. They gathered Aber’s kick-off and ran hard at the visitors forcing desperate tackling and urgent defending. Their pressure paid off as they were awarded a penalty to retake the lead at 10-8.

Now it was Aber who turned on the pressure as they carried hard and won phase after phase. From a ruck within Fishguard’s 22 metres, Charles Thomas threw out a long, accurate pass to Carwyn Evans who ran hard to cross the line for Aber’s third try. Hughes’ conversion gave the visitors a 10-20 lead.

Again Fishguard regrouped and were awarded with another penalty to close the gap to seven points. Once more, Aber fought back, kept possession and gained ground. They, and almost everyone except the referee, thought that Paul Stubbs has scored a good try from loose play; but it was disallowed for not grounding. Denied a certain seven points the visitors heads dropped momentarily and they allowed Fishguard back into it.

Such was the home side’s confidence during this period that they bullied and harassed their way downfield to cross for a try in the corner. An excellent Griffiths conversion levelled the score at 20-20.

Although Fishguard were on top at this stage of the game it was the visitors who scored next as Carwyn Evans ran powerfully to score his second try of the afternoon. Hughes converted this bonus point try and at 20-7, with only minutes left on the clock, Aber literally took their eye off the ball.

At a scrum near the half-way line, the Fishguard pack shunted the Aber eight clean off the ball and earned a penalty. They kicked for the corner, won the ensuing lineout, and forced the visitors to defend desperately. Eventually their pressure paid off and they scored their third try to take the score to 25 – 27. As a drawn game looked certain, Griffiths’ missed with the conversion, and the final whistle was blown almost immediately.