February 27th: Newcastle Emlyn 7 Ebbw Vale 61

HOME > February 27th: Newcastle Emlyn 7 Ebbw Vale 61

The Wales on Sunday of February 23rd, 1997, contained a report of the Swalec Cup 7th Round tie, played the previous day, between Newcastle Emlyn and Ebbw Vale. The reporter commented on Ebbw Vale’s “vastly superior fitness and finishing skills” but added that Emlyn “played their part in a keenly-contested tie and were certainly not disgraced.” 19 years later, the story was very similar. The West Wales club has climbed the league ladder since then – at the time they were in Division Six West – to hold down a comfortable mid-table position in the Championship and, in their first season at that level, they’ve recorded some notable wins, including recent defeats of Cardiff Met and Tata Steel; and Ebbw Vale know just how tricky those teams can be.

Locals chatted with visitors, recalling the game of 1997 and full of pride at the progress they have made since. As one said, “We know this will be our hardest game of the season, but we want to give a good account of ourselves.”

The outcome was never really in doubt as Ebbw dominated from kick off. First half tries came from forward power – a pushover for Ethan Doyle and a “catch’n’Crocker” – and quick thinking and fast hands from the backs for Adam Jones and Dai Jones to cross. Iain Smerdon converted three and the half time score was 26-0 to Ebbw.

Often, in our seasons in Division One East and the Championship, Ebbw sat back on a big half time lead and failed to spark after the interval. Head Coach Nigel Davies challenged his players to score more in the second half than the first, and they responded magnificently with a mixture of forward power, pace and slick handling behind and some great inter-play. More tries came from Rob Sevenoaks, Dan Haymond and Luke Crocker before the biggest cheer of the afternoon came for Newcastle Emlyn’s consolation try, when scrum half Mike Jones finished a flowing backs move with a 40m sprint home. Daniel Davies converted. It was 40-7, and Ebbw had the last word asJordan Howells and David Williams added touchdowns. Smerdon, taming the tricky wind superbly, converted all five second half tries and was this reporter’s Man of the Match.

The final score was 61-7 and Ebbw will now face the Drovers of Llandovery in a home quarter final tie on a date yet to be decided.
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Yn y “Wales on Sunday”, 23ain o fis Chwefror, 1997, mae ‘na adroddiad o’r gêm Rownd 7 Cwpan Swalec, a chwaraewyd y diwrnod blaenorol, rhwng Castellnewydd Emlyn a Glynebwy. Sylwodd y gohebydd ar, “vastly superior fitness and finishing skills” Glynebwy, ond yn ychwanegu, “Emlyn played their part in a keenly-contested tie and were certainly not disgraced.” 19 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, roedd y stori yn debyg iawn. Mae CNE Cymru wedi dringo’r cynghreiriau ers hynny – ar y pryd yr oedden nhw yn Adran Chwech y Gorllewin – ac yn sefyll yn gyfforddus yn y Bencampwriaeth. Yn eu tymor cyntaf maen nhw wedi curo timau fel Met Caerdydd, yr Arberth a Tata Steel; ac mae Glynebwy yn gwybod yn union pa mor anodd maen nhw’n gallu bod!

Cyn y gêm, roedd cefnogwyr lleol yn sgwrsio gydag ymwelwyr, yn hel atgofion hapus o’r gêm yn 1997 ac yn llawn o falchder yn y cynnydd mae’r clwb wedi gwneud ers hynny.

A dweud y gwir, nid oedd y canlyniad mewn amheuaeth, gyda Glynebwy’n dominyddu o’r gic gyntaf. Daeth pedwar cais cyn yr egwyl, trwy nerth y blaenwyr – Ethan Doyle a Luke Crocker – a meddwl chwim a dwylo da gan yr olwyr – Adam Jones a Dai Jones. Gwnaeth Iain Smerdon drosi tri, a’r sgôr hanner amser oedd 26-0 i Lynebwy.

Weithiau, yn ein tymhorau yn Adran 1 (Dwyrain) a’r Bencampwriaeth, os oedden ni o flaen yn gyfforddus ar ddiwedd yr hanner cyntaf, roedden ni’n tueddu ymlacio a ffaelu tanio ar ôl yr egwyl. Heriodd Prif Hyfforddwr Nigel Davies ei chwaraewyr i sgorio mwy yn yr ail hanner nag yn y cyntaf, ac ymatebon nhw’n yn wych, chwarae teg, gyda chymysgedd o bŵer, cyflymder a sgiliau. Daeth ceisidau i Rob Sevenoaks, Dan Haymond a Luke Crocker cyn i’r tîm cartref godi ysbryd ei gefnogwyr gyda chais cysur bendigedig gan fewnwr Mike Jones ar ôl symudiad rhugl a rhwydd gan Emlyn. Trosodd Daniel Davies.

40-7 oedd y sgôr, ac aeth y gair olaf i’r Dynion Dur, trwy geisiadau Jordan Howells a David Williams. Gwnaeth Iain Smerdon faestrioli’r gwynt lletchwith i drosi pob un cais yn yr ail hanner, i goroni perfformiad ‘Seren y Gêm’.

Y sgôr derfynol oedd 61-7, a bydd Glynebwy yn wynebu Porthmyn Llanymddyfri yn y chwarteri ar Barc Eugene Cross ar ddyddiad eto i’w gadarnhau.

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