A first half brace by Man of the Match Toby Fricker set Ebbw up for a win that was less comfortable than the scoreline suggests. The game was played in heavy rain and a gale from the South, with temperatures hovering a few degrees above freezing. It was the sort of day when lonely wingers have to choose between frostbite and hypothermia, and finish the game a delicate shade of blue. Credit, then, to both sides for serving up an entertaining match.
Llanelli have improved greatly since we saw them in September, and their pack often tested the Ebbw forwards with some strong scrummaging and very effective driving mauls, particularly in the first half. Ebbw led 13-7 at half time. Two breaks by Carl Meyer led to tries by Fricker, and Rhys Jones added a penalty, on a testing day for kickers. The visitors scored through a Johnny Lewis touchdown, converted by Ioan Hughes. The big question was whether the lead was big enough as the Steelmen faced 40 minutes playing into the storm.
The first 10 minutes seemed to suggest that it would be a struggle, but immense defence kept Llanelli at bay and, gradually, Ebbw began to dominate. The only score came from a chase and slide by Lloyd Evans, his third try in three appearances, converted by Jones. All in all, this was a splendid team performance in the most testing of conditions and sent players, coaches and supporters off to the Christmas party in the best of spirits.
Llanelli will have been disappointed to take no points home, but will be encouraged in their fight to avoid relegation by their improvement over the season so far.
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Dau gais gan asgellwr Toby Fricker oedd uchafbwynt gêm a chwaraewyd mewn tywydd ofnadwy, gyda glaw, gwynt a thymheredd bach yn uwch na’r rhewbwynt yn cael effaith enfawr. Does dim dwywaith amdani bod Llanelli wedi gwella ers gem gyntaf y tymor, a buon nhw’n achosi ambell i broblem i Lynebwy yn ystod y gêm hon, ond buodd Gwŷr y Dur yn rhy gryf yn y pendraw, ac yn haeddu’r fuddugoliaeth.
13-7 oedd y sgôr ar yr egwyl wedi i Carl Meyer garlamu trwy amddiffyn Llanelli dwywaith a rhyddhau Fricker i orffen yn wych yn y cornel. Roedd Rhys Jones yn aflwyddiannus â’r trosiadau ond yn sgorio cic gosb. Bu canolwr Jonny Lewis yn sgorio cais i’r ymwelwyr, ac Ioan Hughes yn trosi. Yn ystod yr egwyl, y prif bwnc trafod oedd sut y byddai’r tywydd yn effithio ar obeithion y ddau dîm yn yr ail hanner: a oedd Glynebwy wedi gwneud digon yn ystod yr hanner cyntaf, neu fyddai chwaraewyr Llanelli yn manteisio ar y gwynt cryf y tu ôl iddynt?
Ar ddechrau’r ail gyfnod, anodd iawn oedd hi i Lynebwy, oedd yn ffaelu â dianc o’u 22. Ond, fesul tipyn, buon nhw’n symud i mewn i diriogaeth Llanelli ac yn ennill lle blaenllaw trwy sgrymio’n nerthus, cicio’n ddeallus a defnyddio sgarmesoedd trefnus. Bu unig sgôr yr hanner yn dod i flaenasgellwr Lloyd Evans – ei dryddydd cais mewn tair gêm ar ôl ymuno â Glynebwy o Gastell Nedd – gyda Rhys Jones yn tros i sicrhau’r fuddugoliaeth.
Pob clod i’r ddau dîm am ein difyrru mor dda ar brynhawn ofnadwy.
15 Dan Haymond 14 Dafydd Howells 13 Carl Meyer 12 Jacob Botica 11 Toby Fricker
10 Rhys Jones 9 Matthew Flanagan
1 Luke Garrett 2 Rhys Francis 3 Rob Sevenoaks
4 Rhys Clarke 5 Ashley Sweet (capt)
6 Cameron Regan 7 Lloyd Evans 8 Lewis Young
16 Joe Franchi 17 Ross Jones 18 Chris Coleman 19 Kristian Parker 20 Jonathan Davies 21 Dai Jones 22 Aneurin Owen 23 Paul King
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