Division 1 west
Newcastle Emlyn 20 Aberystwyth 10
It was the home team that took the honours in the derby match at Ddol Wiber with Newcastle Emlyn running out victors by a margin of ten points.
This first meeting between the two teams for four seasons proved to be a scrappy affair and there was very little in this game late on with the score delicately poised at 13-10. However a timely try from full back Shaun Leonard tipped the balance in favour of the red and whites and his conversion sealed a well deserved win.
The hosts suffered an early injury to second row Dan Havard and this upset their early rhythm and it was the visitors who were pressing in the early stages. Having only conceded three penalties all game last week the hosts found themselves transgressing far too often and this allowed Aberystwyth to exert pressure on the home line.
The Newcastle Emlyn defence comfortably dealt with the first incursion but working their way up to their own ten metre line they were again penalised at the ruck and Aber half back Mathew Hughes drove them back to within five metres of the home line. From the ensuing line out Aberystwyth went through a series of rucks until centre Carwyn Evans went over for a try,well converted by Llyr Thomas.
This galvanised the home side into action and they proceeded to dominate the rest of the half both in terms of territory and possession. However they were only able to cross the visitors’ line once when from a line out, centre Teifion Davies broke through the Aberystwyth defence, linked with the supporting Shaun Leonard who had runners either side of him. He chose to pass inside to outside half Sion Edwards who sprinted some twenty metres to score a try converted by Leonard.
With a steady stream of possession coming their way it seemed to be only a matter of time before Emlyn scored again. An excellent break by inside centre Andrew Owens looked certain to bring a score but scrum half Mike Jones was just unable to cling on to the inside pass.
The home side extended their lead with five minutes left in the half, when full back Leonard converted a penalty kick from some thirty five metres out.
Aber hit back after the interval when Llyr Thomas brought the score level with a relatively simple penalty kick but scoring opportunities were rare from either side but the red and whites edged in front with another Leonard penalty and with just five minutes remaining a flowing backs move saw Leonard enter the line and the talented full back kicked ahead and won the race for the touchdown for a try which he duly converted.
Aberystwyth came back strongly with right winger Rhys Douglas causing a few problems late and the visitors were presented with a fine opportunity to gain a losing bonus point but the normally reliable boot of Llyr Thomas was off target.