Jan 6th: Ebbw Vale 16 RGC 14

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Jan 6th: Ebbw Vale 16 RGC 14

The present Cup Champions and Premiership leaders, Rygbi Gogledd Cymru, exited this year’s National Cup competition as a resurgent Ebbw Vale won a pulsating tie, 16-14.
It was a bitterly cold afternoon, with the odd sleet shower tumbling down from the Beaufort Massif Central, but Ebbw’s supporters went home glowing like the kids in the old Readybrek advert, having seen their team put in a performance that was the very definition of Ebbw rugby.
Ebbw took the lead after destroying the visiting pack at a scrum, when Dai Jones’s clever kick was caught by Toby Fricker who burst through a couple of attempted tackles to score. Dorian Jones converted. Ebbw held the lead until 5 minutes before half time when RGC twice finished driving mauls off lines out with an efficiency that was in danger of breaching the Catch’n’Kynes copyright. Botica converted twice to give the Gogs a 14-7 lead, somewhat against the run of play.
Playing towards the beer, Ebbw took control of matters in the second half. Dorian Jones’s kicking kept RGC on the back foot, and Ebbw’s immense scrum put cumulative pressure on the visitors and brought a steady flow of penalties. There would surely have been more had referee Mr Davies not had the almost impossible task of running the game without neutral assistants. Arguably, Ebbw had a case for a penalty try as RGC were guilty of breaking up under pressure from a 5m scrum, but it didn’t come. As it was, Dorian Jones maintained his 100% record over 3 matches, bringing Ebbw to 13-14 as the game approached its end. Another huge scrummaging effort from the magnificent Ebbw 8 brought a penalty and Jones did the honours again for 16-14.
RGC knew a penalty or drop goal would win it and kept hold of the ball for fully five minutes, building phase after phase. Such was the ferocity of Ebbw’s tackling, though, that the North Walians lost ground at every phase, ending up in their own 22 having started on Ebbw’s 10m line. And that was where the game finished.
European Heritage chose Ross Jones as Man of the Match, reflecting the tremendous forward effort. Once again, there was plenty of competition from others in a squad that has been reborn in the last month.

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Bu RGC yn dechrau eu hymdrech i gadw gafael yn y cwpan cenedlaethol gyda thaith i Lynebwy, oedd wedi cael tymor siomedig iawn tan eu dwy gêm diwethaf a fu’n dod â buddugoliaethau dros Bedwas a Llanelli.

Roedd y tywydd ym Mlaenau Gwent yn debygol o fis Ionawr: gwynt oer o’r gogledd yn dod â chawodydd, rhai ohonynt yn eirlaw. Ond digon cynnes oedd hi ar y cae, wrth i’r ddau dîm fynd ati i ddaparu frwydr gyffrous iawn i hybu’r galon.

Bu Glynebwy’n sgorio’n gyntaf, asgellwrToby Fricker yn dal cic bach twt mewnwr Dai Jones a charlamu trwy ddau wrthwynebwr i fynd drosodd am gais. Trosiodd Dorian Jones a bu Gwŷr y Dur yn y blaen gan 7-0.

Er bod Glynebwy yn dechrau dangos nerth a goruchafiaeth ymhlith y blaenwyr, ac yn bendant yn y sgrym, fuon nhw ddim yn cael manteisio o ran sgorio. Yn hwyr iawn yn yr hanner gyntaf, bu RGC yn ennill cic cosb, a Botica yn manelu at y cornel i sefydlu cyfle i’w fachwr sgorio trwy sgarmes symudol perffaith. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” maen nhw’n dweud yn Saesneg, ac felly, bu ‘na fach o déjà vu wrth i’r ymwelwyr gwblhau’r un symudiad – unwaith eto’n berffaith – i fynd i mewn i’r egwyl yn y blaen gan 14-7.

Yn ystod yr ail hanner, bu mantais Glynebwy yn y sgrym yn tyfu ac yn dod â chyfleodd i ychwanegu pwyntiau. Efallai dylai’r dyfarnwr, Ian Davies, wedi rhoi cais cosb ar un achlysur, ond anodd iawn yw gweld popeth heb gefnogaeth cynorthwywyr. Ta Beth, bu Dorian Jones yn cwtogi’r bwlch i 10-14 a 13-14 ac, yn hwyr iawn bu cryfder ei flaenwyr yn y sgrym yn ennill cic cosb. Bu’r maswr yn cynnal ei record cant y cant ac yn rhoi Glynebwy yn y blaen, 16-14.

Bu’r ymwelwyr yn sylweddoli y byddai gôl adlam neu gic cosb yn ddigon i gipio’r fuddugoliaeth, ac yn cael gafael yn y bêl am y pum munud nesaf. Ond mor ffyrnig a threfnus bu amddifyn a thaclo Glynebwy, nes bod yr ymwelwyr yn mynd yn ôl ac yn ôl fesul cymal, yn dechrau ar linell 10 medr Glynebwy ond yn sefyll yn ddwfn yn eu 25m eu hunain i glywed chwiban olaf gêm ardderchog.

Cafodd prop pen rhydd Ross Jones ei ddewis yn Seren y Gêm ond, fel yn y gemau yn erbyn Bedwas a Llanelli, bu 23 o ymgeiswyr yn y coch, gwyn a gwyrdd.

Diolch i RGC a Mr Ian Davies am gêm arbennig o dda, a diolch o galon i chwaraewyr Glynebwy a’u hyfforddwyr dros dro, Jason Strange a Ceri Jones am drawsffurfio’r tymor.

Dan Haymond, Stefan Thomas, Dominic Franchi, Dai Langdon, Toby Fricker; Dorian Jones, Dai Jones; Ross Jones, Rhys Francis, Josh James; Kristian Parker, Rhys Clarke; Cameron Regan, Ronny Kynes (capt), Lewis Young.

Bench: Mathew Williams, Jordan Rogers, Rob Sevenoaks, Ben Papp, Joe Franchi, Lewis Dennett, Srdan Majkic, Elis-Wyn Benham.

 

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