Cup Game Abandoned At Talbot Athletic Ground
Aberavon 20 - 24 Bristol Rugby
Bristol’s clash with Aberavon was abandoned after 67 minutes when officials spotted a hole in the middle of the Talbot Athletic Ground pitch.
The visitors led 24-20 at the time, but play was stopped when a crevice was discovered on the pitch.
The Club will have to wait for a B&I Cup organizing committee to decide whether the result will stand, or whether the fixture will need to be replayed.
Bristol had secured a bonus point following tries from Ross Johnston, Callum Braley, Auguy Slowik and Fautua Otto.
It was the hosts who went in front inside ten minutes, as Jamie Murphy dabbed down in the corner after slick hands from the Aberavon backline.
Davies converted from the tightest of angles, before adding a penalty goal moments later after Bristol had been reduced to fourteen men.
Auguy Slowik was the yellow card recipient, deliberately knocking on deep inside his own 22 when Aberavon had come close to a second try in quick succession.
After Davies squandered a chance to extend Aberavon’s lead with a penalty opportunity, Bristol found a route back into the game courtesy of Ross Johnston.
The hooker – making his return to first team action after suspension – rumbled over from close range for a converted score, reducing the deficit to 10-7 midway through the first period.
And the visitors turned the game on its head when Callum Braley darted blind following a well-worked lineout to canter over for his first competitive try in Bristol colours.
Jarvis failed with his conversion and Bristol were made to pay soon after as Sam Davies’ successful three pointer gave the Welsh outfit a narrow 13-12 advantage.
The fly half saw a further attempt fade wide as Aberavon pushed forward, while Jamie Murphy almost found a way through only to be wrapped up by the lively Charlie Amesbury.
Aberavon centre Will Price was sin-binned almost immediately after the restart following a tip-tackle on Mariano Sambucetti and Bristol took full advantage with a third try.
Charlie Amesbury broke downfield, before offloading to Auguy Slowik who showed blistering pace to slide over in the corner and put the visitors back in front at 13-17.
As Bristol gained the ascendancy, Sammy Speight and Fautua Otto almost carved openings, only to be thwarted by a spirited Aberavon defence.
The bonus point was secured when Otto waltzed through several defenders to canter in under the posts. Jarvis slotted the conversion to move his side into a 13-24 lead.
But Aberavon set up a nailbiting finale when the impressive Aisea Natoga crashed over from close range for a converted try, putting the hosts within four points, before the bizarre proceedings occurred that led to the match abandonment.
Aisea Natoga; Ashley Evans, Andrew Collins, Will Price, Jamie Murphy; Sam Davies, Chris Morgans; Nicky Smith, Ieaun Davies, Chris John, Rhodri Hughes, Sam Williams, Jack Jones, Chris Davies, Ben Thomas.
Replacements: Dan Davies (for Chris Morgans, 63 mins), Aaron Jones, Nathan Brown (for Chris Davies, 62 mins), Scott Otten (for Ieaun Davies, 51 mins), Craig Everett (for Rhodri Hughes, 62 mins), Rowan Jenkins (for Nicky Smith, 51 mins), Nicky Thomas (for Chris John, 40 mins).
Auguy Slowik; Charlie Amesbury, Fautua Otto, Nick Carpenter, Sammy Speight; Adrian Jarvis, Callum Braley; Gaston Cortes, Ross Johnston, Bruce Douglas, Mariano Sambucetti, Ben Glynn, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross Johnston, 62 mins), Mark Lilley (for Gaston Cortes, 48 mins), Glen Townson (for Mariano Sambucetti, 48 mins), Joe Joyce (for Mitch Eadie, 62 mins), James Grindal, Tristan Roberts, Jack Tovey (for Fautua Otto, 62 mins).
Referee: Ross Campbell