Swansea crashed to their sixth defeat of the season at the Talbot Athletic Ground against an Aberavon side who dominated after a close first quarter. The Whites started well and looked the better side for the first fifteen minutes of the game but this was not to last as they failed to take their chances when presented. Aberavon certainly had luck on their side with an interception try by winger Paul Bamsey against the run of play, and a second score handed to them by a missed Swansea tackle on the visitor's twenty-two metre line. The game began to slip away from Swansea mid way through the first half, and they failed to recover in the second half with Aberavon gaining the upper hand and finishing the stronger side.
Swansea started well and a good break from Chris Shelmerdine almost resulted in a try but his co-centre David Watts couldn’t take the pass. However the home side opened the scoring after ten minues with a penalty by fly half Jamie Davies in front of the posts.
Luke Richards evened matters with a penalty goal from out wide, but Davies was unsuccessful soon after with an attempt from inside his own half. An attack by the Whites was wasted by Richards who chipped into the corner after wasting an overlap chance. However, he soon atoned for his error of judgement with a penalty goal from half way.
Arguably the turning point of the match occured just before half time with a Swansea attack breaking down and resulting in an interception try for Paul Bamsey. Davies missed the conversion. The Wizards piled even more misery for the Whites right before the interval with a second try under the posts through former Swansea winger Daran Griffiths after a missed tackle in midfield. Davies this time converted to take Aberavon into a 15-6 half time lead.
Half-Time:- Aberavon 15 Swansea 6
Aberavon began the second half as they finished the first on the attack but a great deal of pressure was wasted as they held onto the ball for a split second too long to enable Swansea to clear. Whites prop Tom Snelgrove was then stretchered off the field for what appeared to be a neck injury and play was stopped for six minutes.
The Wizards should have added another try but luckily for Swansea they chose the wrong option. After Davies found touch in an attacking position, Alun Wyn-Jones was sin-binned for a professional foul. Davies put over the resultant penalty. Former Swansea and Ospreys hooker Chris Wells went over under the posts for the home sides' third try which Davies easily converted.
Griffiths scored his second try of the match in the corner after intense pressure on the Swansea line to take the home side into a commanding 30-6 lead. The Whites came very close to scoring late on but the ball was held up over the line. Replacement Ben Lewis finally grabbed a consolation try just two minutes later but it was a case of too little too late for Swansea.
A repeat performance on Friday against Neath will undoubtedly result in an even worse defeat for the Whites and coach Anthony Clement will have a great deal of work to do with the squad before that game to avoid a heavy defeat.
Full-Time:- Aberavon 30 Swansea 11
Venue:- Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon
Weather:- Windy, 16C
Competition:- Welsh Premier League
Match Referee:- Keri Evans
Aberavon Scorers:- Davies (2 Pens, 2 Cons), Bamsey (Try), Wells (Try), Griffiths (2 Tries)
Swansea Scorers:- Richards (2 Pens), Lewis (Try)
Swansea Team:- 15 N. Thomas 14 R. Jones 13 C. Shelmerdine 12 D. Watts 11 L. Bevan (rep: A. Bramwell) 10 L. Richards (rep: S. Thomas) 9 D. Pittard (rep: R. Wells) 1 T. Snelgrove (rep: T. Evans) 2 D. Colclough (rep: R. Hibbard) 3 A. Clatworthy 4 I. Evans (rep: N. Thomas) 5 A. Wyn-Jones 6 G. Newman 7 G. Jones (rep: B. Lewis) 8 S. Edwards
By Paul Hopkins