All good things must come to an end and so Abergavenny RFC capped off a historic season with a barnstorming win over old rivals Blaina in front of a packed Bailey Park.
The coaches had a tired and battered squad to select from but were able to field a strong side all the same.
Jay Admans and Ieuan James were joined in the front row by Rob Sevenoaks, playing his first game at Bailey park for Aber in nearly a decade.
Rhys Willard and Dan Horler teamed up in the second row. Dan Beavan returned from injury to join Josh Davies and Alex Howes to complete the pack.
Rhob Conick and Danny Haymond slotted in at half-back. Gareth Beavan and James Lewis formed the centre partnership, leaving Antony Squires, Nathan Byrne, and Nathan Williams to line up in the back three.
Before the game Abergavenny minis under nines and tens played a curtain raiser and it was evident that amongst their ranks were a couple of future first team players.
As the main event kicked off it was obvious that Blaina had not come along to simply make up the numbers.
The lively lambs took the game to a rather shell-shocked clarets who soon found themselves 12 points down and on the wrong side of two tries and a conversion.
The home side eventually woke up and began to play some attractive rugby, although little mistakes and some altercations with the referee prevented them from scoring.
As the half progressed Abergavenny did begin to get on top and after a period of sustained pressure, centre Gareth Beavan scored a well worked try to open Genny’s account.
Soon after, fellow centre James Lewis broke free just inside his own half, and despite having several speedy Blaina backs in hot pursuit, made it to the try line to make it 10-12 to the visitors at half-time.
The second-half saw Aber dominate. Further tries for Dan Horler, strong running flanker Alex Howes, and a second for James Lewis were all converted by Dan Haymond.
Abergavenny now flooded the field with replacements.
Rhod Webster, Jacob Buttler and Matty Sevenoaks came on in the backs. Rob Lothian and Gareth Williams entered the fray up front, and lastly, Nathan Thomas came on for what was to be his last game of competitive rugby.
Once again the Blaina side refused to lie down and bounced back to score a consolation try through their winger.
The game was now drawing to a close but Aber had one last score in them. After good build up work by the whole team, number eight Josh Davies crossed to score the last try of the season and make it 36-17 at the final whistle.
After the match a presentation was held in front of the stand for two retiring stalwarts of the last two seasons - Jay Admans and player coach Nathan Thomas. The two of them have both made a huge contribution to Abergavenny rugby and it was fitting that a large crowd was there to see them both presented with mementos from the club.
Welsh international Craig Quinnell, who is a life long friend of Nathan, was also there to present the gifts .
A club’s spokesman said, “The committee and all the players of Abergavenny rugby club would like to say a very big thank you to all our supporters who this season have been fantastic both home and away. Your vocal encouragement means a lot to us.”