Ebbw’s new look team, with 8 of the 23 making league debuts for the Steelmen, came away from Bargoed with a narrow victory that will have pleased Lee Davies and his fellow coaches, while leaving them plenty to continue to develop as the season unfolds.
Callum Hall put Ebbw ahead after 5 minutes, with a penalty following a late tackle on Steffan Thomas. Bargoed full back Matthew Lewis made it level with a penalty soon afterwards, before Jon Davies latched onto Hall’s beautifully weighted cross kick, juggled skilfully and made the touchdown. Ebbw led 8-3, but failed to deal with a speculative kick through by Lewis, and former Steelman Jordan Howells was quickest to react, with Lewis’s excellent touch line conversion putting Bargoed ahead at 10-8, which is how it stood at half time.
Another Lewis penalty early in the second half, as Bargoed enjoyed some scrum dominance, pulled his team further ahead until Carl Meyer landed a long-range effort for 13-11. As the scoreline suggests, the game was in the balance throughout, with both sides struggling to gain the upper hand and defences strong and well organised. Ebbw now enjoyed their best period of the game, resulting in a penalty for replacement outside half, Lewis Dennet, who soon added a drop goal to nudge Ebbw into a 17-13 lead. Five minutes later, Toby Fricker raced in to score wide on the left, his long arm just reaching out to plant the ball on the try-line following a last ditch cover tackle. This was just reward for Fricker who had an outstanding debut and caused problems every time he had the ball, while his defensive work was exemplary.
Dennet’s superb conversion gave Ebbw some breathing space at 24-13, and it looked as if Steffan Thomas had put the game beyond doubt as he raced in from 40 metres, only to be called back for a foot in touch. Bargoed never gave up and threw everything at the visitors, earning an injury time penalty try – no conversion required under the new laws – and then hurling everything at Ebbw in search of the try to win the match. There was a final twist as, having blown his whostle and signalled what Bill McLaren always called “no side”, referee Mr Ian Davies was alerted to foul play by one of his assistants. The game resumed with a Bargoed penalty, kicked to touch in the hope of a line out drive, but Ebbw’s tremendous defence held out and it was they who claimed the 4 points.
Tries: Jon Davies, Toby Fricker
Cons: Lewis Dennet
Pens: Callum Hall, Carl Meyer, Lewis Dennet
DG: Lewis Dennet
The squad was:
Carl Meyer, Steffan Thomas, Srdan Majkic, Dom Franchi, Toby Fricker; Callum Hall, Dai Jones; Ross Jones, Joe Franchi, Rob Sevenoaks; Kristian Parker; Lance Randall; Rhys Clarke, Ronny Keynes (c), Jonathan Davies.
Bench:Liam Belcher, Joel Harries, Dean Brooker, Cameron Regan, Owen Jones, Carl Lewis, Lewis Dennett, James Lewis.
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“Dydy ymweld â Pharc Bargôd byth yn hawdd,” dywedodd Prif Hyfforddwr Glynebwy, Lee Davies, cyn y gêm hon. Wel, dyna hanner y stori, a gyda llu o chwaraewyr newydd yn y garfan, roedd cefnogwyr Gwyr y Dur yn synfyfyrio ar obeithion eu tîm dibrofiad.
Ar brynhawn braf o haf, bu Glynebwy yn sgorio’n gyntaf trwy gic gosb gan faswr Callum Hall, ond daeth Bargôd yn ôl trwy gefnwr Matthew Lewis, a 3-3 oedd y sgôr wedi chwarter awr, yn adlewyrchu’r ffaith nad oedd un dîm neu’r llall yn cael rheoli’r gêm. Aeth Glynebwy ar y blaen trwy gais gan Jon Davies a ddaliodd gic groes gan Hall i sgorio yn y cornel. Braidd yn anochel, daeth Bargoed yn ôl a, phan ffeilodd Glynebwy ymdopi â chic ddamcaniaethol, bu Jordan Howells yn manteisio i gipio cais. Gyda throsiad gwych Lewis, 10-8 i Fargôd oedd hi ar yr egwyl.
Estynodd Lewis fantais ei dîm yn yr ail hanner, trwy gic gosb cyn i esgid enfawr Carl Meyer ddod â Glynebwy yn ôl i 13-11. Cael a chael oedd hi, yn wir, ond gwnaeth Glynebwy lwyddo goruchafu trydydd chwarter y gêm: cic gosb a gôl adlam gan eilydd o faswr Lewis Dennet, cais anhygoel gan asgellwr amlwg Toby Fricker, a throsiad bendigedig o’r ystlys gan Dennet yn gwneud y sgôr yn 24-13 i Lynebwy.
Dyw timau o Fargôd byth yn rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô a thaflon nhw bopeth at yr ymwelwyr. Daeth cais cosb iddyn nhw yn hwyr yn y gêm – 7 pwynt, heb angen trosiad – ond roedd amddiffyn Glynebwy yn ddigon cryf a threfnus i wrthsefyll pob ymosodiad a sicrhau buddugoliaeth wych.
Llongyfarchiadau mawr i hyfforddwyr a chwaraewyr Gwyr y Dur am lwyddo yn eu prawf cyntaf – gyda chlod!