Division Two West
Amman United 13 Llanybydder 12
The great escape is well and truly on for Amman United, who edged a crucial, if nervy, win against one of their relegation rivals - and, with games in hand, their fifth victory in a row brought them to within four points of safety.
However, it could have been so different had the visitors’ outside half not slipped over taking a late penalty and missed a desperate drop-goal attempt with the last kick of the game.
This was the archetypal match of two halves at Cwmamman Park.
Amman were by far the better side and dominated the first half with the front row of Liam Mangan, Doug Jenkins and Rhys Phillips giving a solid platform for their scrum.
The hosts excellent start was rewarded after only five minutes when concerted early pressure was rewarded with flanker Dan Jones’ opening try, converted by outside-half Adrian Thomas.
Despite some good attacking play, with Rhys Phillips, Dan Jones and Sean Mangan breaking the gain-line regularly, Amman failed to add to their score.
Centre Rhys Thomas missed a penalty, awarded for a late tackle on wing Gavin Lewis, but made up for it with a 35th minute success as United went in 10-0 up at the break.
Amman continued to press in the second- half. Wing Scott Stephens almost finished off a fine move after good work from full back Ceri Jones, but the ref had spotted a forward pass.
Dean Williams came on for Gavin Lewis, but the wheels came off for Amman from then on as they kicked away too much possession, playing into the hands of a fine counter-attacking set of Llanybydder backs, who needed no second invitation.
From a quick lineout, Llan went straight through some weak tackling to notch their opening try, and, now in the ascendency, their backs proved the focal point again as they notched a second try. The conversion meant Amman were behind after being in total control earlier.
A couple of long-range Rhys Thomas penalties failed to find the target in fading light, but, with two minutes to go, Amman got close enough to earn another penalty and centre Joel Foster kept his nerve to convert and see Amman home after an unconvincing second half display.
Nerves were tested late on, but the home side held out for an important victory.
Amman were brought down to earth with a bump on Saturday, when their winning streak came to a juddering halt.
They endured an unpleasant jaunt to the seaside and were blown away by high-flying Aberystwyth, who went top after a crushing 98-0 win over the visitors.
Another busy week for Amman, beginning with the short trip to take on Tycroes on Wednesday before a home fixture against Fishguard on Saturday.