Division Four West
Penybanc 36 Aberaeron 31
In only their second game of 2014, Penybanc played host to Aberaeron and shook off any rustiness to claim a vital victory.
With a total of 12 regulars missing due to injury, unavailability and work commitments - and with Aberaeron unable to travel down on any other date – the fixture looked like a definite potential banana skin.
But with the bulk of the second XV helping out, the Tigers still put on a strong performance.
However, things looked ominous for the hosts early on and inside ten minutes, a Banc handling error and an interception yielded two tries and a 12-0 lead for the visitors.
At this point, home heads could well gone down but good field position and a rumble from the forwards saw centre Mathew Brayley muscle his away through several defenders to get Banc right back in it.
Minutes later, some big carries from flanker Richard Thomas and prop James Harris coupled with some great play from centre Mathew Lloyd saw wing Christian Hughes go over. Fly half Owen Higgins added the extras to level the scores at 12-12 going into the half-time interval.
With the wind behind them in the second half, Banc came out refreshed and looked far hungrier.
Good play from impressive scrum-half Phil Thomas saw hooker Rhodri Jones free to power over for a try which Higgins improved on.
The referee awarded Aber a penalty try shortly after for a scrum infringement before hard-working lock Darren Davies released full back Wayne Williams for another fine try after more Banc pressure.
The back row of skipper Adrian Pugh, Cellan Harris and Richard Thomas were outstanding all day and Thomas benefited from a huge overlap with a try before retiring with an injury.
Brayley and Lloyd again combined again well to release wing Owen Williams who in turn found namesake Wayne. The full back again showed his class with a great finish.
Aber scored at the death for a final score of 36-31, but it was not enough to spoil a great result for the homesters. Huge credit must go to those who stepped up to help out.
The victory leaves the Tigers in fourth place just two points behind Lampeter with a game in hand.
Banc travel to second-bottom Milford Haven on Saturday.