Ebbw Vale 19 - 17 Aberavon
Posted by Gareth Gange on 08/09/2018
(by Howard Evans)
Aberavon scored three tries and led 17-0 at half-time, but Ebbw Vale responded with 19 unanswered points and took the four-point win.
It was gutsy by the Wizards, who had lost Lee Purnell in the warm-up and then had on-field injuries to Ben Davies, Frankie Jones and Joe Tomalin-Reeves.
Ebbw had easily the bigger and taller pack and height certainly mattered at the end of the line-out, while Rhys Forse, Geraint James and Co held the home scrum for an hour.
Head coach Jason Hyatt commented: "We showed good character and our first-half performance was splendid while our younger players will have learnt from this experience.
"Ebbw Vale is not an easy place to come to and by the finish we had three players aged 18 on the field."
Aberavon again had a lion at scrum half in David Pritchard, who was at his best and often caught his opposite number with the ball.
Chris Banfield was as usual superb under the high ball and Matthew Jenkins had a fine first-half, while Tomalin-Reeves got through a huge amount of work in the pack.
There was a good start as Pritchard scored his usual try and that was followed by Tomalin-Reeves going over in the same corner before hooker Luke Davies also scored near the corner and skipper James Garland goaled from way out.
At half-time Ebbw decided that they must run more ball and though they did, their three tries were all forward orientated.
Wing Steff Thomas, skipper Ronnie Kynes and finally the excellent lock Ashley Sweet gained the touchdowns and Rhys Jones goaled the first and last.
It is good to get a point at Ebbw Vale, but after 40 minutes it had appeared that five points was more likely.
They don't come easier as Pontypridd, Merthyr and Llandovery come in the next three weeks.
Ebbw Vale 19 - 17 Aberavon
Chris Banfield; Shaun Pearce, Matthew Jenkins, Will Price, Frankie Jones; James Garland (capt), David Pritchard; Rhys Forse (rep Jon Thomas 72 min), Luke Davies (rep Cameron Lewis 80+1 min), Geraint James (rep Chris Davies 51 min), Ben Thomas, Ben Davies (rep Ben Jones half-time), Jac Morgan, Andrew Waite (rep Ashton Evans 63 min), Joe Tomalin-Reeves.
Replacements Not Used:
Iwan Temblett, Liam Popham, Steffen Williams.
Frankie Jones, Iwan Temblett and Cameron Lewis appeared from the Ospreys.
T - David Pritchard, Joe Tomalin-Reeves, Luke Davies
C - James Garland
Ebbw Vale Scorers:
T - Stefan Thomas, Ronny Kynes, Ashley Sweet
C - Rhys Jones (2)
Man Of The Match:
1 - Joe Tomalin-Reeves
2 - David Pritchard
3 - Chris Banfield
02 min: Aberavon - T - David Pritchard (0 - 5)
23 min: Aberavon - T - Joe Tomalin-Reeves (0 - 10)
32 min: Aberavon - T - Luke Davies & C - James Garland (0 - 17)
40+1 min: Half Time
43 min: Ebbw Vale - T - Stefan Thomas & C - Rhys Jones (7 - 17)
68 min: Ebbw Vale - T - Ronny Kynes (12 - 17)
79 min: Ebbw Vale - T - Ashley Sweet & C - Rhys Jones (19 - 17)
80+11 min: Full Time