Cardiff kept their Fosters Challenge Cup hopes alive at the Talbot Athletic Ground on Saturday.
Needing a win to stay in touch at the top of the group the Blue & Blacks applied early pressure on the Wizards line in the opening minutes but when they looked odds on to score the final pass landed in the arms of wing Richard Carter who raced the length of the field to score at the other end. The visitors regrouped and worked several good opportunities that they were unable to finish off, Ceri Young and Nicky Griffiths both going close. When the Blue & Blacks were reduced to fourteen shortly after the 20 minute mark the team put in a defensive shift that held Aberavon at bay.
Reward for that was gained when James Thomas landed a penalty for Cardiff’s first points and having got the scoreboard ticking the Blue & Blacks took the lead shortly after. A slick backs move allowed room on the outside but Luke Ford threw a dummy to go over, Thomas added the extras for a 12-6 half time lead.
A huge penalty from inside his own half by Ford increased Cardiff’s lead early in the second half. That spurred Aberavon to try to get back into the game. Strong running by their backline had to be snuffed out and a team defensive effort was required by the Blue & Blacks. Forwards and backs combined to keep the Wizards at bay and when their lineout started to falter the Cardiff pack took a stranglehold on the game. James Murphy attacked every lineout and with Joe Gaughan and Johnathan Edwards hunting the half backs down a turnover was always on the cards. That came when Nick White charged down a clearance kick and was able to re-gather the ball. His front row colleagues were on hand to help and he fed Rob Lewis who happily scored Cardiff’s second. Thomas was again on target with the conversion.
Aberavon briefly threatened a comeback, Carter breaking the try scoring record for the Wizards with his second of the game, but the move of the match finished it as a contest. A worked backs move brought James Loxton straight up the middle and when linked with Harry Davies he was able to put Ford over in the corner and register the Blue & Blacks first win in eight games.