When a team low on form and low on confidence comes up against another brimming with both qualities, there’s only likely to be one outcome, and such was the scenario at Sardis Road on Saturday afternoon. The last time Ebbw lost a Premiership match at Pontypridd was the final of the 2014-15 season but, after just 10 minutes of this encounter, that record was on track to be broken as tries from Chris Dicomedis and Lloyd Rowlands opened a 14-0 lead. Ebbw countered well and Carl Lewis claimed one back, with Lewis Dennett converting superbly from wide out. This was a brief bright interlude for the Steelmen, and the rest of the half belonged to Ponty with three more tries taking them past the bonus point and into a 31-7 lead.
Ebbw tightened their defences after the break. Rhys Francis, Cameron Regan and Rhys Clarke put in sterling shifts up front, as the Steelmen dug in and kept Pontypridd at bay until the game was about to enter its last quarter when prop Chris Phillips barged over from short range, with Bird’s conversion giving his side a 38-7 lead. A great break by Owen Jones at last set the Ebbw backs free and Dan Haymond showed great strength and skill to touch down in the corner – arguably the game’s best try. At 38-12, with Ebbw looking to run everything, a 4-try bonus point was not an impossibility, but it was Ponty who had the last word, a quick tap penalty seeing Geraint Walsh claim the try which Rees converted. Referee Joy Neville – the first woman to take charge of a Premiership game in Wales – blew for the end of the match, and it was Ponty doing the celebrating.
Ebbw have six days to turn things around before Cross Keys arrive at Eugene Cross Park on Friday night.
(Quiz question: When was the last time a female referee was in charge of a game involving Ebbw Vale?)
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Yn ddiweddar, mae Glynebwy wedi dod i ddisgwyl ennill ar Heol Sardis. Ond stori arall oedd hi ddydd Sadwrn, â Phontypridd yn cymryd pum pwynt heb fawr o drafferth. Buon nhw yn y blaen gan 14-0 yn gynnar iawn, wedi i Chris Dicomedis a Lloyd Rowlands groesi a Diggy Bird yn trosi. Daeth Glynebwy i mewn i’r gêm trwy wrthymosod yn effeithiol, Carl Lewis yn ennill ras i’r cornel a Lewis Dennet yn trosi’n berffaith o’r ystlys.Yn anffodus, hoe fach o’u gwaith amddiffynol oedd hon i Lynebwy, a bu Ponty’n gorffen yr hanner gyntaf yn gryf ac yn sgorio tri chais, gan Dale Stuckey (2) ac Alex Webber. 31-7 oedd hi ar yr egwyl.
Chwarae teg i Lynebwy, bu eu hamddiffyn yn yr ail hanner yn well llawer iawn, gyda chwaraewyr fel Rhys Clarke, Cam Regan a Rhys Francis yn amlwg, a bu Ponty’n ffaelu sgorio eto tan y chwarter olaf, bron. Ar ôl i brop Chris Phillps groesi am gais, bu Dan Haymond yn sgorio cais gorau’r prynhawn, yn dilyn rhediad gwych gan eilydd Owen Jones a gwaith da gan olwyr Gwŷr y Dur. Efallai bod Glynebwy yn meddwl am bwynt bonws ond, er iddynt drio rhedeg popeth o bob man, bu Ponty yn sgorio cais olaf yr ornest gan Alex Webber.
Prynhawn siomedig iawn oedd hi i chwaraewyr, hyfforddwyr a chefnogwyr Glynebwy. Bydd cyfle i wella’r sefyllfa nos Wener, pan bydd Cross Keys yn dod lan y cwm i ECP.
Mae pöbl yn dweud bod dyfarnwr wedi cael gêm dda os ydych chi’n anghofio amdano. Neu amdani, yn yr achos hwn. Pob clod i Joy Neville, y fenyw gyntaf i dyfarnu mewn gêm yn yr Uwch Gynghrair, roedd ei pherfformiad yn dda iawn.
The Ebbw team was:
15.Dan Haymond, 14.Steffan Thomas, 13.Srdan Majkic, 12.Dom Franchi, 11.Toby Fricker; 10.Lewis Dennett, 9.Carl Lewis; 1.Joel Harries; 2.Rhys Francis, 3.Robert Sevenoaks; 4.Kristian Parker, 5.Lance Randall; 6.Rhys Clarke, 7.Ronny Kynes (Cape), 8.Cameron Regan.
Bench: 16.Ross Jones, 17.Joe Franchi, 18.Josh James, 19.Jon Davies, 20.Owen Jones 21.Dan Babos, 22.Callum Hall, 23.Garyn Payne.
Travelling reserves: Luke Connolly, Will Holley
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