Ebbw Claim a Bonus Point Victory
The Steelmen welcomed Pontypridd to the Ciner Glass Community Stadium on a rare cloudless, warm, sunny day in Ebbw Vale.
Before the game a minute silence was impeccably held for young Lewi Sullivan who tragically lost his life recently.
The home side were once again slow out of the blocks, with Ponty taking advantage when experienced winger Dale Stuckey finished off a great run by centre Ryan Wilkins to score the first try of the game. Outside half Josh Phillips was unable to add the two points.
The away side stretched further ahead when centre Wilkins scored a very good team try moments later. Fly half Phillips was successful with the conversion to put his team twelve points ahead.
Within fifteen minutes of the kick off, Ebbw number three Harry Drane got on the wrong side of the referee, was shown a yellow card, and spent ten minutes in the sin bin.
Shortly after, Pontypridd took full advantage of the extra man, when after successive penalties, marksman Phillips added the three points.
A great take by winger Harry Rees Weldon from the restart put the Steelmen on the front foot. After applying some pressure inside the twenty-two, the home side were unable to get their first points of the afternoon.
An impressive kick by Ebbw’s number ten Evan Lloyd, from inside his twenty-two reached the Ponty twenty-two. From the resulting play, the referee awarded Ebbw Vale a penalty and marksman Lloyd got his sides first points of the game. Shortly after, Lloyd was again successful with a penalty to shorten the deficit.
With the home side forwards starting to impose themselves on the game, a kick to the corner from a penalty saw the Steelmen forwards set up a driving maul which ended with flanker Lewis Young crossing the line with five minutes left of the first half. Lloyd successfully added the extras.
On the stroke of half time, the referee awarded Ponty a penalty inside their own half. Number ten Phillips superbly converted the kick to take his team into the break ahead.
Half Time: Ebbw Vale 13-18 Pontypridd
The Steelmen came out for the second half with a point to prove. Some strong forward play saw the ball make its way to influential scrum half Jon Evans, who put a clever grubber kick through for speedster Ryan Davies to be first to the ball to touch down in the corner. Fly half Lloyd kicked a superb conversion to put his team into the lead for the first time during the game.
With the away side missing a penalty, marksman Lloyd put Ebbw a further three points in front after the referee awarded the home side a penalty from a scrum.
On the fifty-fifth minute, Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange replaced the experienced Cameron Regan with Gethin Williams and influential flanker Lewis Young with Chad Thomas.
Fly half Lloyd further extended the Steelmen’s lead when after good inroads into the Pontypridd defence by the home side’s forwards, saw the ball passed back to Lloyd to kick a successful drop goal.
Changes to the front row, by the home sides coach Strange saw Adam Court replace the hard working Harry Drane and Morgan Davies come onto the field for the impressive Luke Garrett.
Ill discipline by the Steelmen gave Ponty another opportunity from the boot. Outside half Phillips again successfully added the three points.
Ebbw coach Strange made his sides final change of the game on the sixty fourth minute when second row Jakub Malecki replaced the industrious Curtis Gregory.
From a neat chip through deep into the away sides twenty-two, pressure applied by the home side’s winger Ryan Davies, saw the youngster tackle Pontypridd winger Stuckey into touch. Pontypridd won the lineout, however, the Steelmen forwards turned the ball over and number eight Ryan Jenkins used his strength to power over the line to score his sides third try of the game with twenty minutes left on the clock. Lloyd was unable to add the extras.
With the game coming to a close, the referee showed Ponty number eighteen Morgan Bosanko a yellow card after an indiscretion at the scrum.
Ebbw scored their fourth try of the game when fly half Lloyd powered over the try line from short range. Lloyd, after an impressive performance, brought the game to a close by adding the two points to cap off a man of the match winning performance.
Full Time: Ebbw Vale 38-21 Pontypridd
Tries: Lewis Young, Ryan Davies, Ryan Jenkins, Evan Lloyd
Pens: Evan Lloyd (3) Cons: Evan Lloyd (3) Drop Goal: Evan Lloyd
The Ebbw Vale team was:
15. Morgan Richards 14. Harry Rees-Weldon 13. Ethan Phillips 12. Dominic Franchi (CAPT) 11. Ryan Davies 10. Evan Lloyd 9. Jon Evans
1. Luke Garrett 2. Ieuan Morris 3. Harry Drane 4. Dylan Bartlett 5. Curtis Gregory 6. Cameron Regan 7. Lewis Young 8. Ryan Jenkins
16. Charley Kearns 17. Morgan Davies 18. Adam Court 19. Jakub Malecki 20. Chad Thomas 21. Rory Harries 22. Kieran Meek 23. Gethin Williams
Man of the match: Evan Lloyd
After the game we spoke with Ebbw Vale winger and try scorer Ryan Davies. Ryan acknowledged the team made a slow start within the first fifteen minutes. Ryan was pleased with the comeback. He thought the team worked hard, stayed together, and connected, which disrupted the Pontypridd set piece and slowed them down. Ryan stated towards the end of the game, the team kept a cushion and came away with a victory. Finally, Ryan said he was over the moon by scoring a try and it is the best feeling ever scoring a try for Ebbw Vale.
Written by: Alex Kinsella-Evans