December 31st: Ebbw Vale 24 Cardiff 20

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December 31st: Ebbw Vale 24 Cardiff 20

With both sides firmly in the shake up for a top 8 finish, this was always likely to be a close affair, and so it proved. Early Ebbw pressure eventually gained a penalty shot for Josh Lewis, who duly obliged, but the Steelmen’s lead was short lived as Cardiff’s outside half, Gareth Thompson, charged down an attempted clearance and skilfully controlled the ball to claim the try that he converted.

Cardiff’s scrum was creaking and Josh Lewis was able to take advantage with a penalty to make the score 6-7, but Ebbw indiscpline gave the accurate Thompson two chances to extend his team’s lead to 13-7. With Cardiff hooker and captain Joe Tomlinson in the ‘sin bin’ for repeated scrum offences, Ebbw’s forwards increased the pressure as the half came to a close but Cardiff held out, halting a line out drive – seemingly illegally, although referee Rhys Thomas decided otherwise and blew for the end of the half.

The second period was just 5 minutes old when Harri Keddie, in barnstorming form, powered over for a try. Lewis’s conversion was wide, but his next two penalty shots were perfect and gave his side the lead at 17-13.

Cardiff bounced straight back and centre Ceri Young cut through on a mazy run that saw him score the try of the match, Thompson goaling for 17-20.

It was tense. A wandering fingernail seller did a roaring trade on the bank but the players needed to remain calm and do what they do best. For Ebbw, this meant scrummaging and there was an inevitability about the penalty try that came as Cardiff repeatedly collapsed the advancing Steelmen 8. Lewis made it 20-24, and, despite 13 minutes of injury time as the visitors valiantly kept the ball alive and threw all they had at the red, green and white wall, Ebbw defended superbly, eventually earning a penalty and kicking dead to finish a marvellous contest.

Praise is due for all the Ebbw players on duty today, with a big mention for Jonathan Davies making an impressive first Premiership start alongside Damien Hudd, having joined from Ynysddu last week. The six front rowers (Ross Jones, Joe Franchi, Gethin Robinson, Ian George, Jonny Bowen and Rob Sevenoaks) on duty were splendid, and the back row of Keddie, Clarke and Kynes – along with replacement Dawid Rubasniak, performed heroically.

In the bizarre new world of mid-season splits (can anyone explain exactly why?) these two great clubs will not meet again in the league until next season, and only one of them can now go on to have a chance of reaching the play-offs and a tilt at the title.

Happy New Year.

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Cyn y gêm, roedd y ddau dîm yn gwybod byddai fuddugoliaeth yn hollbwysig o ran sicrhau lle yn y ‘top 8’ cyn i’r Uwchgynghrair cael ei rannu’n ddau (a oes rhywun sy’n gallu esbonio pam, yn union, gyda llaw?)

Agorwyd y sgorio gan Josh Lewis, gyda chic cosb yn y 9fed munud, ond daeth Caerdydd yn ôl ar unwaith, wrth i Gareth Thompson siarso cic, rheoli’r bêl a chroesi am gais. Trosiodd e hefyd, ac roedd ei dîm yn y blaen, 3-7.

Er ei bod hi’n gynnar yn y gêm, roedd yn amlwg bod blaenwyr Caerdydd yn ffaelu ymdopi â chryfder eu gwrthwynebwyr, yn enwedig yn y sgrym, a chafodd Lewis gyfle i ddod â’i dîm i mewn i’r gêm. 6-7 oedd hi. Yn fuan iawn, trwy annisgyblaeth chwaraewyr Glynebwy, cafodd Thompson gyfleoedd i estyn mantais Caerdydd ac aethon nhw at yr egwyl ar y blaen gan 6-13 (er bod y bachwr o gapten, Joe Tomlinson, yn y cell cosb).

Dechreuodd Glynebwy yr ail gyfnod yn gryf iawn, a sgoriodd wythwr Harri Keddi yn y cornel, yn dilyn gwaith gwych gan ei gyd-flaenwyr. Er bod trosiad Lewis yn mynd yn eang, daeth pwer y blaenwyr â dau gyfle yn fuan iawn, ac roedd y maswr yn llwyddianus, a Gwyr y Dur yn y blaen gan 17-13.

Pob clod i Gaerdydd: ymosodon nhw yn syth, a sgoriodd Ceri Young gais gorau’r prynhawn – ond ni fydd hyfforddwyr Glynebwy’n hapus am y taclo, siwr o fod! Trosiodd Thompson, ac roedd Caerdydd yn y blaen unwaith eto gan 17-20. Cael a chael oedd hi, ond roedd mantais Gynebwy ymhlith y blaenwyr yn bwysig iawn, a thrwy eu hymdrechion nhw daeth cais cosb: pac yr ymwelwyr yn rhwystro sgrym Glynebwy’n anghyfreithlon, a Mr Thomas yn mynd o dan y pyst. Trosiodd Lewis, a 24-20 oedd hi i Lynebwy.

Yn y munudau olaf, gwnaeth Caerdydd  bopeth i gipio’r gêm, ond roedd amddiffyn Glynebwy’n gryf, yn gadarn ac yn drefnus. Gyda Chaerdydd yn cadw’r bêl yn fyw, a’r wal coch, gwyrdd a gwyn yn ddyrys, chwaraewyd 13 munud ychwanegol ond, yn y pen draw, daeth cic cosb i Lynewby, ac roedd y gêm wedi cwpla.

Phewww!

Pob lwc i Gaerdydd am weddill y tymor achos, doed a ddelo, fyddwn ni ddim yn cwrdd yn y cynghrair tan y tymor nesaf.

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Try / Cais – Harrison Keddie, Penalty try
Conversion / Trosiad – Josh Lewis
Penalty / Cic cosb – Josh Lewis (4)

Dan Haymond, Srdan Majkic, Nathan Preece,  Dai Langdon, Craig Duncan; Josh Lewis, Dai Jones; Ross Jones, Joe Franchi, Gethin Robinson: Jonathan Davies, Damien Hudd (capt); Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Harri Keddie.

Substitutes: Jonny Bowen, Ian George, Robert Sevenoaks,  Jack Goodey, Dawid Rubasniak, Chris Thomas, Will Holley, Liam Jones.

 

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