Last Friday, the Aberavon Schoolboys rugby team, featuring four of St Joseph’s own players, travelled the short distance to the Gnoll to take on local rivals Neath in a Friday night derby. Having lost their first game away to Rhymney Valley, the Schoolboys’ coaches Michael Dyer, Foard Cooksley and Sam Williams wanted a reaction, but knew it would be a tough task away to the Welsh All Blacks.
The game started off at a frantic pace with big tackles going in from the very off. After some ferocious defence from Aberavon, a loose kick into midfield fell to Aberavon full back Cori Lewis-Jenkins (Dyffryn) who made a fantastic line break to speed away to the try-line, scoring a try that any professional would have been happy with. Neath hit back straight away, camping in Avon’s 22 for 10 minutes. Despite heroic defence, Neath broke the line to score a try and level the board at 5-5. Aberavon held out, playing against a strong wind to go into half time level.
With all to play for in the second half, Neath startedwelland attacked Aberavon at every chance but yet again a stern Avon defence was not letting Neath get past. After sustaining heavy pressure Aberavon won a scrum on the half way line. From that, a great tactical kick over the top from St.Joseph’s own Iori Comerford-Davies set up the second, and winning, try for Aberavon as Lennon Reynolds (YBB) grabbed the touch down. A Herculean effort in defence from Aberavon at the end stopped any chance of Neath stealing the win.
It was a very well-deserved win for the schoolboys, especially the players from St Joseph’s. We’re looking forward to a repeat of this performance in the next game against Blaenau Gwent next Monday.