Division 3 west A
Cardigan 5 Aberaeron 27
The honours in the eagerly awaited local derby at the King George were claimed in convincing fashion by Aberaeron who put on a much more polished performance than their county rivals.
The seagulls arguably produced one of their best shows of the season in what were difficult conditions underfoot and despite the high error count this was nevertheless a decent old fashioned derby duel which was sealed in the end by the all round contribution of the visiting pack who gave Cardigan a torrid time, especially in the scrum.
It was the seagulls who opened the scoring when outside half Rhodri Jenkins slotted over a penalty after only three minutes and they added to this when number eight Tudur Jenkins claimed a push over try which was converted by name sake Rhodri to put Aeron 10-0 up.
With Aberaeron in the ascendency it came as no surprise when they increased their lead after centre Ollie Sawyer broke through some woeful tackling to touch down near the posts with this try coming from another aimless Cardigan kick up upfield. Jenkins then upgraded this touchdown to make it 17-0.
The Cardi’s who were missing their two best players in centre and skipper Emyr Harries and number eight Llyr Griffiths came back strongly through debutant fly half Tom Dunn and experienced old head Colin Davies in the back row but poor passing cost them on several occasions just as they looked to be gaining momentum.
The hosts eventually crossed for a try just after the interval when Dunn rounded off a fine move that went through several patient phases of play and he squeezed through what had been a very resilient defence.This smart try inspired the home side and back they came with blind side Tom Taylor, open side Marcus Castle, scrum half Owain Rees and Dunn very prominent but their problems in the scrum began to hurt them with the front row trio of Owain Wozencraft, Alex Danton and Sion Evans along with powerful second row Gethin Hughes very dominant.
Jenkins increased the seagulls lead with another penalty before his team mates killed off their rivals with a third try which came when the Cardigan scrum was dismantled just outside the 22 metre area and burly scrum half Gareth James broke down the blind side and fed out to a two man overlap for fly half Jenkins to touch down. The same player then slotted over the conversion to cap a fine individual performance and to seal a well deserved win.
Aberaeron are now up to third place in the table just ahead of Haverfordwest and they will be reasonably happy with the progress they have made this term. Cardigan in contrast, suffered their third defeat on the trot but to their credit they were without two senior players who would have made a considerable difference to such a young side.
New player Dunn looks a natural stand off and he and Rees are a very promising pair of half backs and if the Cardi’s could bolster their scrum they have the backs to punish most of the teams in division three west.
However players are a bit thin on the ground at the King George and they just have to keep fighting and continue to show the spirit they displayed on Saturday.