April 9th: Ebbw Vale 8 Llandovery 16

HOME > April 9th: Ebbw Vale 8 Llandovery 16

Ebbw Vale exited the Swalec Cup on Saturday afternoon at Eugene Cross Park, against Llandovery who deservedly took the spoils 16-8.

It was a disappointing and frustrating afternoon for the Steelmen and their supporters as Llandovery blunted what seemed to be Ebbw’s main attacking option: the driving maul from the lineout. Fair play to the Drovers who had clearly done their homework, but their defence was often illegal, earning them 3 yellow cards (one went to red). However, Ebbw will surely regret not varying their attacks more, and utilising the backs who were so effective in the great wins over Pontypridd and Cardiff.

A tight first half saw Ebbw claiming the lion’s share of possession and territory but lacking the killer edge. Llandovery were more clinical and scored two penalties through Jack Maynard to lead 6-0. Iain Smerdon pegged them back with a penalty to make the score 6-3 at half time.

Smerdon missed a possible equaliser soon after the break, and Llandovery stretched their lead when Jacob Cowley broke through the home defences to score. The drop-kicked conversion went wide so it was 11-6. Ebbw, still enjoying more of the possession and territory, set up good field position in the Drovers’ 22, but the ball was turned over and the Llandovery backs, renowned for their counter-attacking abilities, worked scrum half Rhodri Davies free to race in from his own half.

At 16-3, Ebbw continued to pound away at Llandovery’s defence. With time running out, the visitors infringed at every breakdown, and Mr Morris brandished two yellows – the second turning to red for prop Wyn Jones who had already had 10 minutes off in the first half. At last a driving maul worked and Damien Hudd scored in the corner to make it 16-8. Langdon’s conversion was off target, meaning Ebbw needed to find two scores to win, but time ran out and Llandovery, deservedly, went through to a semi-final date with Pontypridd. They are one of three sides for whom a cup and league double is a realistic possibility.

There were few positives for Ebbw in this game. A third hard, physical match in a week inevitably takes its toll on bruised and battered bodies at the end of a long season. Man of the Match was Cameron Regan, back to his very best form recently, in his 100th game in an Ebbw shirt. He and his fellow forwards never stop trying; sometimes, though, the tactical emphasis needs to move away from our splendid pack.

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Aeth Glynebwy fas o Gwpan Swalec brynhawn Sadwrn, wrth i Porthmyn Llanymddyfri ennill, yn hollol haeddiannol, 16-8.

Roedd yn brynhawn siomedig, rhwystredig iawn i’r Gwyr Dur a’u cefnogwyr wrth i Llanymddyfri bylu prif opsiwn ymosod Glynebwy, sef y sgarmes gyrru ar ôl llinell. Pob clod i hyfforddwyr a chwaraewyr y Porthmyn, achos bod nhw wedi gwneud eu gwaith cartref yn astud, ond roedd eu hamddiffyn yn aml yn anghyfreithlon, ac yn ennill tri cherdyn melyn (un yn droi’n goch). Fodd bynnag, efallai dylai Glynebwy wedi dangos mwy o amrywiaeth yn eu chwarae, a defnyddio’r olwyr a oedd mor effeithiol yn y buddugoliaethau gwych dros Bontypridd a Chaerdydd.

Yn yr hanner cyntaf, roedd y gêm yn agos iawn. Ennillodd Glynebwy y rhan orau o feddiant a thiriogaeth ond heb awch i’w chwarae. Roedd yr ymwelwyr yn fwy clinigol, a chiciodd Jack Maynard dau gôl gosb i roi ei dîm ar y blaen 6-0, cyn i Iain Smerdon agor cyfrif Glynebwy gyda triphwynt. 6-3 i Lanymddyfri oedd hi ar yr egwyl.

Estynodd Llanymddyfri eu mantais yn gynnar yn yr ail hanner trwy ganolwr Jacob Crowley a orffenodd symudiad da gan yr olwyr. Er hynny, roedd Ebwy dal yn hawlio digon o’r bêl i roi eu gwrthwynebwyr o dan bwys. Roedden nhw mewn sefyllfa dda, yn ddwfn yn 22 Llanymddyfri, ac yn ymosod. Yn anffodus, collon nhw’r bêl, ac aeth y Porthmyn – sy’n gallu gwrth ymosod yn arbennig o dda – hyd y maes i hawlio cais i fewnwr Rhodri Davies.

16-3 oedd y sgôr erbyn hyn, a pharhaodd Glynebwy i bwyo amddiffyn Llanymddyfri. Gyda’r gêm yn dod i ben, roedd yr ymwelwyr yn fodlon camsefyll tro ar ôl tro a doedd dim dewis gan Mr Morris ond i ddangos dau gerdyn melyn, ac un coch i brop pen rhydd Wyn Jones am ei ail drosedd. O’r diwedd gwnaeth sgarmes gyrru Glynebwy weithio’n berffaith a sgoriodd Damien Hudd yn y gornel. 16-8 oedd y sgôr ar y chwiban olaf, a bydd Llanymddyfri yn mynd trwodd, yn haeddiannol, i wynebu Pontypridd yn y rownd nesaf. Pob lwc iddyn nhw am weddill y tymor.

Prin iawn oedd ‘y positifs’ o safbwynt Glynebwy. Wrth gwrs, cafodd tair gêm galed, corfforol mewn wythnos, effaith enfawr ar gyrff cleisiog a blinedig. Seren y Gêm oedd Cameron Regan, yn ôl i’w orau’n ddiweddar, yn ei ganfed gêm dros Lynebwy. Mae Cameron a’i gyd-blaenwyr byth yn stopio ceisio ond, weithiau mae angen newid tactegau, a symud y pwyslais i’r olwyr galluog.

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