Jan 26th: Merthyr 10 Ebbw Vale 9

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Jan 26th: Merthyr 10 Ebbw Vale 9

For the third successive season the gods of all cup draws pitted these two teams against each other and, for the third successive season, the Ironmen of Merthyr came out on top.

On a wet and windy afternoon there was nothing to choose between the sides and, after Merthyr took an early lead with a Matthew Jarvis penalty, RhysJones replied with a drop goal from 40m and then added a penalty to make the score 6-3 to Ebbw. This was never going to be a classic of running rugby as the conditions and the tension of the occasion ensured that it would be kept tight. Although both sides did try to run the ball at times, handling errors put paid to most movements while defences dominated throughout. Ebbw pushed further ahead early in the second half when Reese Jones added another penalty after Rhys Clark was pulled down at the lineout. l The Steelmen’s first-up tackling was immense, allowing Merthyr no way through, and at 9-3 ahead and well into injury time, Ebbw could have been forgiven for thinking that they were into the next round. However, a penalty and yellow card in their own 22 saw the Steelmen having to defend against the powerful Merthyr scrum. This aspect of the game had been a lottery throughout, with referee Mr Williams penalising both sides in turn. At the second time of asking the scrum wheeled, Mr Williams decided that Ebbw had done so deliberately and prevented Merthyr from scoring a try. The final action of the game saw him run between the posts to award a penalty try to the hosts for them to win 10-7. Ebbw’s huge and vocal travelling support applauded their heroes off the pitch but it is the Ironmen who go into the next round.

Colli bu hanes Glynebwy yn y rownd cynderfynol yn erbyn Merthyr llynedd, ac yn yr ail rownd blwyddyn yn gynt. Am hanner awr, yn dilyn ail gic gosb Rhys Jones ar 57 munud, oedd wedi rhoi Glynebwy yn y blaen gan 9 i 3, roedd i’w weld taw Gwŷr y Dur byddai’n mynd ymlaen i’r rownd gogynderfynol. Ni fu lot o rygbi agored i’w edmygu ar brynhawn ofnadwy ond bu amddiffyn y ddau dîm o’r safon uchaf a Glynebwy’n ymdopi â phopeth bod eu gwrthwynebwyr yn taflu atyn nhw. Yn sydyn, ar ol 10 munud o amser ychwanegol, bu’r dyfarnwr yn cosbi Glynebwy yn ei ardal 22m ac yn dangos cerdyn melyn i fachwr Joe Franchi. Dewisodd capten Merthyr sgrym ac, er bod y ddau bac wedi cael ei gosbi yn gyson a bob yn ail trwy’r gêm, penderfynodd  Mr Williams bod Glynebwy wedi stopio Merthyr rhag sgorio cais gan troi’r sgrym yn bwrpasol, ac yn gwobrwyo’r tîm cartref gyda chais cosb ar y chwiban olaf, oedd yn ddigon i fynd â nhw i 10-9 a’r rownd nesaf, a thorri calonau chwaraewyr Glynebwy â’i lu o gefnogwyr swnllyd.

The Ebbw team was:

15) Dan Haymond
14) Steff Thomas
13) Paul King
12) Dom Franchi
11) Toby Fricker
10) Rhys Jones (Drop goal, 2 penalties)
9) Dai Jones
8) Cameron Regan
7) Lloyd Evans
6) Rhys Clarke
5) Ashley Sweet (c)
4) Kristian Parker
3) Rob Sevenoaks
2) Rhys Francis
1) Ross Jones

16) Joe Franchi
17) Luke Garrett
18) Chris Coleman
19) Lewis Young
20) Owen Young
21) Matthew Flanagan
22) Dai Langdon
23) James Lewis

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