ABERAVON 15 SWANSEA 8
Swansea’s hopes of reaching this season’s British and Irish Cup were dashed by neighbours Aberavon in a largely scrappy affair at the Talbot Athletic Ground.
The Whites handed debuts to seven players and started the brighter side when lock Alun Evans, on permit from Gorseinon, caught a twenty-two drop out, only for the home forwards to dive over the top of a ruck. Nicky J Thomas kicked his side into the lead with a penalty goal.
A superb run from deep by winger Stef Andrews set up an attack with full back John Phillips in support. He then found fly half Jamie Davies who spotted the gap and raced through to score in the corner. He failed to convert.
Nicky J Thomas had an opportunity to kick his side back into the lead after the Wizards’ backs were caught offside but he missed his effort at goal.
Aberavon grabbed their second try when ex All Whites prop Andrew Clatworthy charged through the middle to set up a good platform for Jamie Davies, who drew in the defence and sent Phillips racing down the wing to score. Jamie Davies converted.
Winger Richard Carter threatened out wide, forcing hooker Scott Otten to kill the ball and referee Neil Hennessy showed him a yellow card. However Jamie Davies missed his penalty attempt.
Half-time:- Aberavon 12 Swansea 3
The numbers were even almost immediately after the interval when Aberavon centre Mathew Jenkins was sent to the sin-bin for a late tackle.
However it was the Wizards who continued to look the better side and a chip through by Jamie Davies was almost pounced on by Andrews only for the Whites’ defence to scramble back and save a certain try. From the scrum five, crossing by the home backs gifted Swansea a penalty and the visitors were able to clear.
Phillips went in search of a hat trick of tries when he chipped through from his own twenty-two, but Swansea winger Andrew Claypole sprinted back to prevent a certain score. The visitors’ defence was slow to get back though and gave away a penalty which Jamie Davies duly converted.
Swansea replacements Paul John and Callum Brennan both charged up to the line from a lineout but Jon Preddy was penalised for crossing and the promising move broke down.
A fight broke out between John and Darryl Thomas but it was Whites flanker Mathew Davies who was sent to the sin-bin. Jamie Davies missed his attempt at goal.
With 80 minutes up on the clock a good run by centre Aled Jenkins caused panic in the Wizards’ defence to allow the pacey Richard Williams to score in the corner. Nicky J Thomas missed the conversion.
Darryl Thomas was yellow carded in the dying seconds for killing a dangerous Whites attack, but the visitors were unable to score a try that could have sent the game into extra time.
Aberavon now face fellow regional club Bridgend next week to decide which club goes on to feature in the British and Irish Cup. Swansea’s first league match takes place in two weeks’ time when Cross Keys make the visit to St Helen’s.
Full time:- Aberavon 15 Swansea 8
Star man: Jonathan Phillips
Referee: Neil Hennessy
Tries:- Phillips (15, 23)
Cons:- J Davies (24)
Pens:- J Davies (67)
Y cards:- M Jenkins (41), D Thomas (80+3)
Tries:- Williams (80)
Pens:- Nicky J Thomas (8)
Y cards:- Otten (37), M Davies (77)
15 Jonathan Phillips
14 Richard Carter (rep: Will Price 60)
13 Richard Thomas
12 Matthew Jenkins
11 Stefan Andrews
10 Jamie Davies
9 Dan Davies (rep: Chris Morgan 60)
1 Rowan Jenkins (rep: Craig Everett 60)
2 Evan Yardley (rep: Neil White 71)
3 Andrew Clatworthy (rep: Anthony Edwards 78)
4 Gavin Ronan
5 Ian Moore (rep: Ieuan Davies 71)
6 Lee Purnell (rep: Darryl Thomas 60)
7 Nathan Brown
8 Ben Thomas
16 Chris Morgans
17 Aaron Jones
18 Will Price
19 Ieuan Davies
20 Darryl Thomas
21 Craig Everett
22 Neil White
23 Anthony Edwards
15 Nicky J Thomas
14 Richard Williams
13 Aled Jenkins
12 David Watts (rep: Paul Davies 64)
11 Andrew Claypole
10 Cameron Clement
9 Jon Preddy (rep: Jake Cole 58)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Nicky Thomas 58)
2 Scott Otten (rep: Paul John 58)
3 Ian Williams (rep: Nicky Smith 57)
4 Teghan Price (rep: Tudor Hughes 78)
5 Alun Evans (rep: Callum Brennan 52)
6 Matthew Davies
7 Rob Dudley Jones
8 Sam Pailor
16 Paul John
17 Nicky Smith
18 Nicky Thomas
19 Callum Brennan
20 Tudor Hughes
21 Daniel Brooks
22 Paul Davies
23 Josh Hamer
By Paul Hopkins