Ebbw Vale proved too strong in all aspects of play for the visitors, who never gave up and showed why they have established themselves as solid Championship competitors in their first year at that level.
The tie was over as a contest by half time, following tries by Nathan Preece (who bagged a first half hat trick), Gareth Maule, Dai Langdon and James Lewis on his first game back for the Steelmen. Langdon converted four, and Ebbw led 38-7, Skewen having manufactured an excellent score of their own by Matthew Billett, converted by James Ball.
The tide of scoring slowed somewhat after the interval, as both sides made wholesale changes. Ebbw still managed another three touchdowns through Jack Goodey (2) and Dawid Rubasniak who shone in a half hour cameo. Langdon converted two and Dan Haymond, taking over at 10 when Langdon departed, reducing the Steelmen to 4, unluckily hit the post with his shot.
Ebbw’s Man of the Match was Nathan Preece whose direct running and support lines posed problems for the visitors throughout. Dominic Franchi, in his first outing since a serious injury in October, 2015, showed that he has lost none of his power in attack or defence, while Robert Lewis, back for another spell as a Steelman, and debutant Lance Randell, showed up well.
So Ebbw progressed to the 2nd round, with local bookmakers already refusing to take bets on yet another trip to Colwyn Bay…
Dan Haymond, James Lewis, Gareth Maule, Nathan Preece, Will Talbot-Davies; Dai Langdon, Dai Jones; Ian George, Joe Franchi, Gethin Robinson; Joe Bartlett, Damien Hudd (capt); Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Jack Goodey.
Subs: Jonny Bowen, Ross Jones, Rob Sevenoaks, Lance Randall, Dawid Rubasniak, Rob Lewis, Srdan Majkic, Dominic Franchi.
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