Newcastle Emlyn 12 v Aberystwyth 32
ABERYSTWYTH RFC’s first team finally returned to action with a Bank Holiday excursion to Ddôl Wiber, home of Newcastle Emlyn, geographically their nearest neighbours in Division Two West. For both sides it had been a staggering 54 days since their last league outings, and both sideswere keen to renew their campaigns with much-needed league points. Aberystwyth had convincingly won their earlier encounter at Plascrug in September, as the newly-promoted Emlyn side struggled to establish themselves, but on balance since then the two have had similar records, just one league point separating them last weekend. Aberystwyth emerged with the spoils with a 32-12 away verdict.
Builth Wells 30 v Cwmllynfell 15
The Bulls recorded their second consecutive win with a convincing display against high flying Cwmllynfell by 30 points to 15.
The Bulls started the game as though they were still suffering from the seasonal excesses. The first quarter was littered with handling errors and misplaced kicks, both sides exchanging penalties with little constructive play. The second quarter was much livelier as both sides ran off their new year’s hangover, the Bulls scoring a try through Gethin Davies after neat interplay with the forwards. Cwmllynfell through the prodigious boot of full back Peter Thomas took the half time lead with three more successful penalties, at this stage it looked as though a tight game would be decided by the boot.
Half time brought some telling substitutions from coach Jeremy Pugh changing the make-up of the front row and in so doing changing the nature of the contest. From that point on the Builth pack were totally dominant at set piece and much more aggressive at the breakdown. The reliable boot of Jon Thurston restored the Bulls lead and their domination of the set piece denied Cwmllynfell any ball so the game was played almost totally in the Cwmllynfell half. The pressure finally paid off when scrum half Sam Guillam darted over for a converted try. The Bulls domination of territory and possession continued allowing flanker Ben Pugh to score an opportunist try from a quickly taken tapped penalty, full back Rob Lloyd adding the extras.
A pleasing start to the new year for the Bulls and coach Jeremy Pugh, though no doubt he will still be a little concerned by the lack of tries that are coming out wide. There is plenty to build on but still considerable work to be done.