Seasiders celebrate cup victory over gritty Aberaeron

Seasiders celebrate in style


2024 Pembrokeshire Knock Out Cup Final:


Aberaeron 27 - Tenby United 37

Venue: Parc Lloyd Thomas, Crymych
Referee: Tom Carew
Assistant Referees: Martyn Rudd & Ceri Harries
Fourth Official: Dave Byrne
Skipper Luke Dedman clearly thrilled to raise the cup aloftTenby United celebrated a long-awaited return success in the Knock-Out Cup Final as they were deserved winners against a gritty Aberaeron team making an historic first appearance in the Blue Riband event of Pembrokeshire Rugby and playing their part in a cracking final which was played at a real pace, with commitment and high skills throughout, and with excellent self-discipline as referee Tom Carew maintained firm control yet made sure the game flowed as far as possible, writes Bill Carne.

Indeed, this first Saturday afternoon final for 12 seasons of a competition which has traditionally been played in midweek, was blessed with perfect weather conditions, was really well organised by host club Crymych, had a big crowd of partisan supporters from both clubs – and the county officials, led by Delyth Summons, the district representative on the WRU, Sue Davies (Hon Secretary), Jonathan ‘JJ’ Jones (Chairman) and Brian ‘Beaky’ Davies (President) must have been well pleased with the quality of play and everything else that made it a great afternoon of sport.

Seasiders start with a bang

Tenby United, who had already gained promotion to Division One (West) next season, clearly started as clear favourites whilst Aberaeron ended an excellent season as runners-up in Division Three (West) A but have a solid set of forwards and a quality back division led by skipper Morgan Llewellyn – and were clearly up for the contest and finished the stronger so that although they trailed 37-13 against a 14-man Seasiders’ side,  scored two late tries that at least better reflected their involvement throughout.
But it was Tenby who took early control, despite some powerful tackles by  Alex Danton, Ryan Williams and especially Ceri Davies, and a Lloyd Thomas penalty to the right corner paid dividends for The Seasiders in the fourth minute as their concerted lineout drive saw No 8 Dan Colley plough over to take his tally to 18 tries for the season.

Tenby captain Luke Dedman receives the coveted silverware from sponsor Huw Hughes

Aber bounce back – but fail to take their chances

No 10 Thomas added the conversion from a wide angle and then slotted a 41-metre penalty in the eighth minute to serve notice of his good form – but Aberaeron showed their mettle as they quickly bounced back with a strong run up the right wing by Matthew Harries which established a platform for a series of drives featuring Osian Davies, Will James and Hefin Williams which resulted in centre Rhodri Williams landing a penalty.
But Tenby’s excellent scrum half Tom Lewis spotted a slight gap and a similar run out wide by Tenby’s powerhouse winger Max Brindley saw Aber get offside and Lloyd Thomas added three points for The Seasiders – and as the frenetic action continued Morgan Llewellyn and Steffan Jones launched a counter-attack from a clearance attempt but with skipper Luke Dedman, Tom Barrass, Hywel Baker and Jack Brown covering well there were no points as reward for Aber.
And worse was to follow because in the 25th minute another Tenby raid down the slope was illegally halted, there was a yellow card for Aber centre Ollie Sawyer and from the ensuing set-piece skipper Dedman barged his way over the line and Thomas continued his good kicking form with another penalty.
Aber continued to show their battling spirit despite a 3-20 deficit and as their pack earned a series of penalties in Tenby’s 22 they opted for kicks to the corner, rather than an assured three points from Jenkins’ trusty left boot – and The Seasiders showed their defensive qualities as Ethan Morgan, Dan Allen and especially Rob Luly tackled hard and plugged the gaps so that they went into the break at 20-3 ahead.

Man of the Match - Max Brindley with Brian Beaky Davies


Aber start second half well – but Seasiders stay focussed

Aber started the second period with plenty of fire and were rewarded when Rhodri Jenkins kicked a simple penalty (and Seasiders’ No 8 Colley was shown a yellow card) – but their hopes of a strong come-back were severely dented as Luke Waygood and Jack Gooding swung play left and replacement No 9 Cam Broadhurst showed genuine pace as he sliced through on a diagonal run to the posts for Thomas to add the extras before he added another simple penalty.
A lesser side than Aber might have given up the ghost at this stage, trailing by a massive 24 points – but  they battled back down the slope and a series of raids prompted by Rhodri Thomas and Steffan Rees saw Llyr Davies, Bleddyn Thomas and  Dyfrig Dafis going close before referee Carew lost patience with several penalties by Tenby near their line – awarded a penalty try and showed the unfortunate Colley a second yellow and so dismissal from the rest of the game!

Tenby assured of victory but Aber finish in style!

The Seasiders still managed to conjure a fourth try, however, as Thomas launched a speculative chip to the corner and Brindley out-jumped his marker and twisted over the line. Unusually, Lloyd Thomas missed the conversion attempt but it was re-ordered because an Aber player had charged too soon – and of course Thomas punished them by maintaining his 100% record and 17 impressive points!
Aber introduced veteran prop Owain Wozencroft, Bobby Jones and Rhys ‘Bwtch’ Jones into actio and all three seemed to breathe new life into their efforts, with Rhys Jones’ work rate as hooker intensifying their play and allowing him to pile through for a try, converted by Jenkins.
Aber continued to press hard and it was fitting that flanker Hefin Williams, chosen by his team as their man of the match, grabbed a third try for the Mid Walians and Jenkins’ excellent conversion brought an end to a cracking contest where both teams gave 100% in all aspects and it really was a pleasure to stand near Foel Drygan and watch it unfold!
Max Brindley was chosen by the officials as man of the match and he received his trophy from Brian ‘Beaky’ Davies, the County President, before sponsor Huw Hughes, of sponsors HNO Hughes and Associates, presented the coveted silverware to Tenby skipper Luke Dedman to nicely round off his sixth season as captain.

Match officials - Ceri Harries, Tom Carew and Martyn Rudd

Aberaeron: Morgan Llewellyn (Capt): Matthew Harries; Dyfrig Dafis; Rhodri Jenkins; Steff DJ Jones: Steffan Rees; Rhodri Thomas: Ceri Davies; Ryan Williams; Alex Danton: Llyr Davies; Bleddyn Thomas: Osian Davies; Hefin Williams; Will James. Replacements: Rhys Owens; Owain Wozencroft; Richard Francis; Bobby Jones; Gethin Dafis; Ollie Sawyer; Ifan Davies.
Tenby United: Gwion Jones: Max Brindley; Jack Gooding;  Luke Waygood; Luke Hartland: Lloyd Thomas; Tom Lewis: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Tom Barrass; Luke Dedman (Capt):  Hywel Baker; Jack Brown; Dan Colley. Replacements:  Kyle Rossiter; Liam Pugh; Jake Roberts; Jack Broadhurst; Cam Broadhurst; Harry Rossiter; Brad Cramb; James Morgan; Fletcher Broadhurst.

Runners-up Aberaeron