Blues bombed out in second half
12:00pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in Sport
Haverfordwest conspired to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they allowed a deserved 22-10 interval lead to slip out of their grasp as Aberystwyth scored 27 unanswered points to claim a win that seemed most unlikely at half time.
To be fair to the Blues, they had lost influential forwards Adam Clark (suspected broken arm) and Lewis Wood (broken nose) but that doesn’t explain the way they allowed the Mid Wales’ side to claw their way back and then take control in the final quarter of a game that the Blues simply had to win.
The home side started well as Ashley Sutton kicked them into a threepoint lead in the second minute but then Blues’ skipper Gareth Green was yellow-carded and Aber showed they had not come to make up the numbers as Gareth Isaac, Iestyn Jones and skipper Rhys Lewis were all involved in a concerted attack from which flanker Isaac scored under the posts for outside half Mark Evans to convert.
The Blues showed their potency behind the scrum when scrum half Richard James made a cracking break out of defence and found centre Ollie Reyland in support before a long pass put winger Kern Cunningham in for a superb corner try which Sutton did well to convert.
Cunningham was involved again straight from the restart as he linked with Luke Harvatt before Richard James put Reyland over at the posts and Sutton added the simple extra points.
A penalty from Aber No 10 Evans reduced the deficit but Lewis Wood, skipper Matthew Clarke and Ryan Banner were involved before another powerful surge by Harvatt ended when prop Lewis Davies powered through for an unconverted try.
It set up a 22-10 interval lead and had Blues’ supporters expecting a comfortable win and at least another try that would have ensured a bonus point.
But the warning signs were there as Mark Evans reduced the deficit with a penalty and then added the conversion to a try by prop TomPluck which put them only two points away from a Haverfordwest side which was struggling to keep possession with some poorly directed kicking and handling errors.
Worse was to follow for the Blues as Aber centre Ian Ellis sped through for two tries in four minutes, the second a sift score that showed how fortunes had changed. Evans kept up his excellent kicking record with both conversions and a late penalty to secure a win which earned them five points, leaving Haverfordwest with nothing to show for their first half efforts.
Haverfordwest: Craig Barnett: Kern Cunningham; Luke Harvatt; Ollie Reyland; Darren Salmon: Ashley Sutton; Richard James: Lewis Davies; Gareth Green (Capt); Terry Lovell: Gareth Phillips; Adam Clark: Ryan Banner; Matthew Clarke (Capt); Lewis Wood. Replacements: Jamie Zambas; Neil Phillips; Dean Lloyd- Hughes; David O’Leary.
Aberystwyth: Huw Bonner: Matthew Green; Owen Owens; Ian Ellis; Dorian Coleman: Mark Evans; Ifan Thomas: Tom Pluck; Matt Roberts; Rhys Lewis (Capt): Dan Binks; Iestyn Jones: Lee Evans; Gareth Isaac; Gwion Jones. Replacements: Llyr Thomas; Steff Bonswell; Billy Thomas; Bryn Phillips.
Referee: Jason Ludgate (Newcastle Emlyn).