by Howard Evans
If you like games with 73 points scored in the sunshine, then I do not, but take no credit away from Newport with skipper Matt O’Brien outstanding in his 57 minutes at outside half.
Aberavon again flattered to deceive and the defence was the main problem while the lack of the usual number of scrums meant that Rowan Jenkins and Geraint James had no chance to show their strength.
Aberavon did some good things on the attack, but injury struck before the match with the news that skipper Joe Tomalin-Reeves will need an ankle operation and Ben Thomas lasted only five minutes of the first half.
Again, it was Lloyd Evans who showed some brilliant touches and after nearly three years absent, Matthew Jenkins looked good on his return, while hooker Ieuan Davies played his 200th game for the club.
After 14 minutes Chay Smith did splendidly to start a move that ended with Stef Andrews showing his pace and teenager Dan Edwards converted.
O’Brien cleverly handled twice before sending scrum-half Rhys Downes over and O’Brien converted, though Chris Banfield scored after a length-of-the-pitch move with Smith.
Newport hit back and tries by Harry Griffiths and Will Griffiths, plus an O’Brien conversion took them to half–time leading by 19-12.
A Lloyd Evans pass sent Aled Thomas over and Will Price gave Jonny Phillips the pass for a further try with Aled goaling both to lead 26-19, then forward Josh Reid scored and teenage fly-half Will Reed goaled to level it.
Again the ‘Wizards’ led as Lloyd Evans ran well and Iwan Temblett scored with Aled Thomas converting at 33-26.
However, Newport had not finished and hooker Henry Palmer’s try and another Will Reed conversion took it to 33-all with nine minutes remaining.
It was Newport who won it with their sixth try from Harry Griffiths with Reed again adding the extras.
It was good if you like Basketball, but not if you remember rugby as it used to be!
Aberavon 33 – 40 Newport
Chris Banfield (rep Jonathan Phillips half-time); Frankie Jones (rep Matthew Jenkins half-time), Chay Smith (rep Joe Gage half-time), Will Price (capt), Stef Andrews; Dan Edwards (rep Aled Thomas half-time), Rhodri Cole (rep Iwan Temblett half-time); Rhys Fawcett (rep Jordan Walters 31 min, rep Rowan Jenkins 50 min)), Llew Phillips-Taylor (rep Ieuan Davies half-time), Chris Davies (rep Geraint James half-time), Ben Thomas (rep Shay Smallman 06 min), Rhodri Hughes (rep Sam Williams half-time), Billy Moxey (rep Lloyd Evans half-time), Ashton Evans (rep Andrew Waite half-time), Lee Purnell (rep Ashton Evans 67 min).
Ieuan Davies made his 200th appearance for Aberavon RFC.
Club debut for Billy Moxey.
T – Stef Andrews, Chris Banfield, Aled Thomas, Jonathan Phillips, Iwan Temblett
C – Aled Thomas (3), Dan Edwards
T – Harry Griffiths (2), Rhys Downes, Will Griffiths, Josh Reid, Henry Palmer
C – Will Reed (3), Matt O’Brien (2)
Ian Davies (Porthcawl)
14 min: Aberavon – T – Stef Andrews & C – Dan Edwards (7 – 0)
15 min: Newport – T – Rhys Downes & C – Matt O’Brien (7 – 7)
22 min: Aberavon – T – Chris Banfield (12 – 7)
33 min: Aberavon – Yellow Card – Lee Purnell
35 min: Newport – T – Harry Griffiths (12 – 12)
38 min: Newport – T – Will Griffiths & C – Matt O’Brien (12 – 19)
40+5 min: Half Time
44 min: Aberavon – T – Aled Thomas & C – Aled Thomas (19 – 19)
51 min: Aberavon – T – Jonathan Phillips & C – Aled Thomas (26 – 19)
54 min: Newport – T – Josh Reid & C – Will Reed (26 – 26)
66 min: Aberavon – T – Iwan Temblett & C – Aled Thomas (33 – 26)
70 min: Newport – T – Henry Palmer & C – Will Reed (33 – 33)
73 min: Newport – T – Harry Griffiths & C – Will Reed (33 – 40)
80+2 min: Full Time