James drives Amman to top of table
2:51pm Monday 16th September 2013 in Sport
Division Two West
Amman United 41 Seven Sisters 22
The Amman front-row paved the way to victory as the hosts again rescued a first-half deficit to claim back-to-back wins.
This was a hard but entertaining clash with total effort given by everyone on both sides.
In a tight opening half, Amman had plenty of possession but no end product and a series of silly errors at the back were to cost them dear.
Seven had good openings, one forcing Gavin Lewis into a superb covering tackle, but United were undone when, having lost attacking possession, a speculative kick-and-chase saw them concede a soft converted try from Daniel Challenger.
Things got worse when everyone seemed to stop following a Seven Sisters knock-on, only for the referee to wave play on. Dan Short couldn’t believe his luck and trotted over to dab down for a crazy score.
Amman also appeared to have lost their kicking boots and missed a couple of seemingly kickable penalties before Rhys Thomas finally knocked one over.
Amman were getting too much lineout ball pinched, but were rock steady at the scrums with front five dominant as Liam Mangan, Doug Jenkins and Robert James put in outstanding performances in the front row. James in particular gave a man of the match performance with a couple of superb lung-busting runs which took several tacklers to get him down.
Dickie Dunn came on for the injured Thomas just before half-time.
Turning around 12-3 behind and facing a significant wind, Amman hoped their superior fitness would come into play.
And, sure enough, gaps began to appear as the pack turned the screw.
From a ten-metre scrum, they shoved the visitors back, forcing them into conceding a penalty try.
Seven’s discipline began to slip and a yellow card was shown for dissent after the score.
Adrian Thomas converted and suddenly the momentum was with the Amman.
They took the lead for the first time when Dean Williams’ lightning break took him clear, but a penalty pulled the visitors back level at 15-15.
But United continued to crank up the pressure and Stan Manning’s long pass put in the in-form wing Stuart Herbert for the try.
With Jordan Burger coming on, United grabbed a second valuable bonus point when lock Chris Rees’ forward run paved the way for the superb James to claim a deserved try.
A ragged Seven conceded another when Matthew Wrigley crashed over from a lineout drive.
The visitors grabbed a late consolation try, but Amman had the last word when Alun Lewis crossed for an opportunist score in injury time. Gavin Lewis converted both tries.
Amman head the early table on ten points, alongside Maesteg Quins, with the sides set to face each other on Saturday in the Llynfi Vallety.
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