Rugby Union: Shorney double downs Aberavon

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The Independent Online
RHYS SHORNEY, the Welsh Premier Division's leading try scorer, added two touchdowns to the 10 he had already clocked up this season as Pontypridd romped to an emphatic 49-21 victory away to the bottom club Aberavon yesterday.

The 21-year-old wing led the way with a try in each half while five of his team-mates - Kevin Morgan, Matthew Lloyd, Martyn Williams, Geraint Lewis and Greg Prosser - also went over to help the 1996-97 champions claim a bonus point. Gareth Wyatt, discharging the kicking duties while Neil Jenkins relaxes in Las Vegas, helped himself to 14 points. Aberavon's tries came from Damian Neill, Aaron Hamilton and Brian Shenton.

Leighton Gerrard was sent off during Neath's 20-17 win at Bridgend. The 28-year-old prop received his marching orders from the referee Huw Lewis for stamping after his team-mates Mike Turner and Shawn van Rensburg had been sin-binned along with Bridgend's Julian White and Cliff Vogl for fighting. At the interval, Neath, who consolidated their place in the top four with a late penalty from Darren Case, had a seemingly impregnable 17-3 lead thanks to tries from Van Rensburg, Dave Tiueti and Case. However, in the wake of Gerrard's dismissal, Bridgend were able to draw level with tries from Steve Pearce and Steve Wake, both converted by Gareth Cull to add to his first-half penalty.

Newport moved above Bridgend in the table after Shaun Connor landed a drop goal in the seventh minute of injury time to earn a thrilling 30- 29 home win over Ebbw Vale, who looked to have edged it five minutes earlier when Jason Stange kicked his fifth penalty. Connor and Strange contributed 15 and 19 points respectively, but the game also produced five tries. Steve Moore, Martin Llewellyn and Kyle Roberts went over for Newport and Leyton Olsen and David Llewelly replied in kind.

Robert Howley extended his recent fine form with a brace of tries for Cardiff in their 29-13 Anglo-Welsh success over visitors Leicester. The Wales scrum-half was joined on the scoresheet by the former rugby league wing Anthony Sullivan and Craig Morgan while the prop Perry Freshwater supplied Leicester's only try. Richmond rested most of their first team for the other Anglo-Welsh encounter at Swansea and, not surprisingly, were hammered 57-3, conceding nine tries in the process.

Bristol maintained their two-point lead in Allied Dunbar Premiership Two with a 43-6 stroll at Moseley which featured two touchdowns for their Australian centre Adam Larkin, the division's leading try scorer. Worcester's 17-0 home win over Orrell kept them second, two points ahead of Rotherham, London Welsh and Waterloo - all of whom won.

Glasgow Caledonians will be without several internationals for today's Tennent's Velvet Tri-Series decider against Edinburgh Reivers in Gala. The absentees include the Lions prop Tom Smith, who has a back problem, the former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright, who is recovering from concussion, and the full-back Rowen Shepherd who has been sidelined until next season by a knee injury.

Edinburgh will miss a couple of their capped players after the scrum- half Bryan Redpath and the centre Jamie Mayer picked up knocks in training. Mayer's absence, though, allows Craig Chalmers - fresh from a fine display for the Barbarians at Leicester - to return at centre alongside Alan Tait, who will captain the side in place of Redpath.

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