Aberystwyth Men’s Rugby 1st XV 12-10 Cardiff University 4th XV

Aber's winnign try scorer, Zach Mayne breaks the line.

Aber’s winning try scorer, Zach Mayne, breaks the line.

NEITHER team would normally face each other in a regular season, but having being drawn together in the BUCS Western Conference Cup tie, both sides faced-off on Vicarage Fields, looking to progress in the Cup.

The afternoon saw rain, wind and sunshine basking the “Vic” pitch, with Aber kicking off playing towards the Vic tennis courts. The first-half failed to produce any points – with Aberystwyth’s scrum-half, Paddy James, missing a kick at goal, but the home side, captained by second-row Dan-James Walters must feel annoyed that they failed to capitalise on early first-half chances. Cardiff 4ths are the University’s “Fresher” team, with some very handy players, who have played representative age grade rugby on many occasions. The Red and Greens were pushed back all through the  half with a good kicking display by Cardiff full-back Will Ratkins and Aber failing to reply only with a very solid, if not overwhelming display at the scrum. Owen Howells, Conner McCaffery and Jacob Weaver-Jones pushing the young Cardiff scrum back at very set-piece and should be very proud of their afternoon’s work. At the half the sides were equal, and Cardiff, oddly went back into the changing rooms for the break.

Cardiff's Will Ratkin is tackled by Aberystwyth's second-row Iwan Mullin.

Cardiff’s Will Ratkin is tackled by Aberystwyth’s second-row Iwan Mullin.

Aberystwyth Men’s Rugby First XV are yet to lose at home this season, and they were given a chance early on in the second period to get some points on the board by going for goal. With the heavy wind, it was no surprise that James was to miss from over 40 metres. In reply Cardiff, within 5 minutes of play, Cardiff crossed Aber’s line. After some good play, Will Ratkins, again  after receiving a sloppy kick, the long-haired full-back crossed in the corner. Cardiff fly-half Rory Gunning, adding the two points. Aber replied swiftly, thanks to the power of their scrum,as blindside flanker side, Connor Ward, picked up loose ball and slid over. The conversion was missed but Paddy James’ awareness at the back of the set-piece was key to the score. With a quarter of an hour to play, Cardiff found themselves in the Aberystwyth 22, young fly-half Connor Pitt was subbed and Paddy James moved to the out-half slot, the away side won a dubious penalty at the breakdown, a facet of play that the referee was not at all comfortable with all afternoon and slotted the three points. With 10 minutes to play the home side were down and out, as a few niggles starting to appear at the rucks, but Aber’s scrum was still sound, despite Owen Howells having to go off with a reported broken wrist and Nwabufo Anah replacing him. Following a good touch-finder from open play, which lead the ball into the Cardiff 22, by now fly-half Paddy James, Cardiff’s line-out was over thrown. Aber pounced on the ball and worked through the phases, pick-up and goes followed each other and proved to be very successful. The referee blew for another scrum and Aber powered through, stealing the Cathays-based side’s ball. Will Brown spun the ball wide with outside centre, Zach Mayne, hitting a hard offensive line, as he had done often during the 80 minutes he crashed over under the post, stretched out and touched-down for game-clinching score.

Paddy James slotted over and Aberystwyth had 5 minuted to hold a 2-point lead. The home side did so, they held the ball well, and hard-fought close victory was gained. Aberystwyth travel to Swansea next Wednesday in a league fixture, looking for their first away win of the campaign.

Aberystwyth’s Second XV, captained by Nathan Adam, lost to Cardiff 2nd XV today, 34-5, Fraser Mountford claiming the try. They face Cardiff University 4ths next Wednesday at home.

Aberystwyth Men’s First XV:1. Conner McCaffery 2. Jacob Weaver-Jones 3. Owen Daniel Howells 4. Daniel-James Walters(Captain) 5. Iwan Mullin 6. Connor Ward 7. Kieran Wallace 8. Henry Croft 9. Patrick James 10. Connor Pitt 11. Seb Tuff 12. Doug Hammond 13. Zach Mayne 14. Chris Dennehy 15. Josh Irvine 16. Nwabufo Charles Anah 17. Kevin Palmer 18. Lewis Barrett 19. Sam Pritchard 20. Will Brown 21. Tom O’Brien 22. Pengani Yangailo Jr.

Cardiff University 4th XV: 1. Sam Bellamy 2. Liam McFadden 3. Fraser Martin 4. Alex Thornton 5. Jack Sheeds 6. Tom Lambourne (Captain) 7. Walter Gilbert 8. Charlie Bradley-Hole 9. Joey Magill 10. Rory Gunning 11. Tom Martin 12. Kieran Sweeney 13. Huw Parkes 14. Tom Howard 15. Will Ratkins 16. Callum Hindle 17. Joe Holmes 18. Dafydd Jones 19. Anthony Newall 20. Ellis Jones. 21. Will Thompson. 22. Dave Wyles