Aberavon came back from 17 points down at half time to defeat local rivals Swansea 22-17 at a rain soaked St Helen’s.
The opening 10 minutes were very scrappy on a wet surface with neither side able to string any phases of play together. Howard Thomas had the first opportunity to get points on the board for the visitors after the home side crept offside at the ruck but his effort fell short of the posts.
Moments later Thomas’ opposite number Sam Davies made no mistake with a penalty goal after the visitors strayed offside. The home side grabbed the first try when centre Lewis Chance made a break through the middle with the supporting Sam Davies chipping ahead and gathering his own kick to score a great solo effort (pictured scoring, above). He also converted.
Winger Jackson Szabo showed a superb turn of speed to cut through the middle but the supporting Nicky Thomas was brought down a few metres short of the line by the covering Richard Thomas. Inside first half injury time the Whites scored a second try through winger Tom Prydie who collected a Nicky Thomas chip through. Sam Davies converted.
Half-time:- Swansea 17 Aberavon 0
The Wizards were out of the blocks first in the second half when hooker Marc Breeze sent Nathan Brown over for a try. Howard Thomas failed to convert. Offside at the ruck gave the visitors a penalty chance which Thomas duly converted.
Chance cut through the Aberavon defence but the supporting Prydie was tackled on the twenty-two. Then both Richard Carter and replacement Ricky Thomas threatened the try line but the Whites managed to turn over possession.
Aberavon’s second try came when lock Ian Moore set up an attack from which Carter backed his pace to score in the corner. Howard Thomas converted. The visitors completed their impressive comeback when substitute David Pritchard ran unopposed straight through a lineout to score. Howard Thomas converted.
Aberavon coach Simon King said he was pleased his side came through what was a classic proverbial game of two halves.
“I thought we showed great character not to let our heads drop after a difficult start,” he said.
“We were played well in the second half and I am delighted with the win – it puts to bed the disappointment of our defeat last week.”
Full time:- Swansea 17 Aberavon 22
Referee:- Phil Fear
Weather:- Light rain, 15C
Man of the match:- Richard Carter
Tries:- S Davies (14), Prydie (40+2)
Cons:- S Davies (15, 40+3)
Pens:- S Davies (12)
Tries:- Brown (44), Carter (64), Pritchard (68)
Cons:- H Thomas (65, 69)
Pens:- H Thomas (50)
15 N Thomas
14 T Prydie
13 C Shelmerdine (rep: N Harwood 52)
12 L Chance
11 J Szabo
10 S Davies
9 R Wells (rep: M Torrance 66)
1 R Jones (rep: D Suter 60)
2 A Rees
3 A Clatworthy
4 J Jones
5 B Davies
6 J Bija (rep: P John 80)
7 S Lewis
8 A Gwynne
15 P Bamsey
14 R Carter (rep: G Harvey 73)
13 D Ritchie (rep: Ricky Thomas 58)
12 W Price
11 Richard Thomas
10 H Thomas
9 J Donovan (rep: D Pritchard 60)
1 R Jenkins (rep: N White 60)
2 M Breeze
3 W Taylor
4 I Moore
5 S Williams
6 D Thomas
7 N Brown
8 R Morris
By Paul Hopkins