Swalec Plate – Fourth Round
Amman United 21 Abergavenny 14
Amman United reached the quarter-finals of the Swalec Plate thanks to a hard-earned victory over a dogged Abergavenny side at Cwmamman Park.
In what seems the first ever meeting of the two sides, Amman were without Tom Davies and Jonny Bevan, but boast a strong squad these days and made the opening breakthrough after ten minutes.
Some neat inter-passing between Gavin Lewis and Dean Williams ended with the latter crossing for the try, which outside-half Rhys Thomas converted.
Gavin Elliott made good yards with ball in hand while Karl Worsfold provided plenty of possession from the line-out.
Having already beaten three higher league opponents on the way, the League Three East visitors gave Amman plenty of problems to consider – and battled gamely throughout.
But the visitors lost their discipline momentarily, and following the sin-binning of one of the Aber forwards, Amman went for the jugular.
A series of strong scrums piled on the pressure to earn the hosts a penalty-try.
But United then contrived to shoot themselves in the foot when a series of weak tackles allowed the visitors to score after a quick turnover and counterattack.
The home side hit back though and Lewis’ neat chip and gather caught out the defence, allowing Williams in for his second try. Thomas again converted.
Abergavenny stuck to their task and managed to grab a second try in first half injury-time to keep the tie in the balance.
The hosts soaked up the pressure early in the second half, but with the slope advantage in their favour, managed to keep Aber at bay.
Amman picked up a yellow card of their own with scrum-half Ryan Williams the latest visitor to the sin-bin.
The game settled into a war of attrition in sapping conditions, though the pitch held up well in the circumstances.
Doug Jenkins and Tristan Manning had a series of late half-chances to extend the home lead but there were no further scores after the interval.
Amman suffered a late injury scare when prop Rob James was stretchered off to hospital with an ankle injury.