March 12th: Ebbw Vale 34 v Pontypridd 8

HOME > March 12th: Ebbw Vale 34 v Pontypridd 8

Ebbw won their 8th successive Premiership match, inflicting the double on reigning champions Pontypridd and securing a 4-try bonus.

Pontypridd started off strongly and had Ebbw under the lash for the first 15 minutes. They created a stream of opporunities, running the ball at the Steelmen, but a combination of good defence and poor options meant that all they had to show was a try by full back Gary Williams whose purposeful run took him past several Ebbw defenders to socre under the posts. Ponty’s vetran outside half, Ceri Sweeney converted to give his side an 8-0 advantage.

Ebbw were next on the board when, from an attacking scrum, they moved the ball left. David Williams came into the line from the opposite wing to free Chris Levesley who touched down behind the posts. Iain Smerdon converted. Although Ponty continued to attack, Ebbw were now comng more into the game and it was becoming obvious that they had the advantaged among the forwards, particularly in the scrum. A penalty on the verge of half term was converted by Iain Smerdon to send his team in 10-8 up.

The forward dominance that was becoming evident in the first half became more obvious after the break, and it soon became clear that the vistors were unable to handle the home 8. The front row of Ross Jones, Mathew Williams and Gethin Robinson bossed the scrums; Damien Hudd and Ashley Sweet dominated the lines out and were prominent all around the park in attack and defence, and the back row of Ronny Kynes, Cameron Regan abd Luke Crocker swarmed the breakdown and looked to attack at every opportunity. It was a front row replacement, Joe Franchi, who claimed Ebbw’s next score from a powerful maul. Smerdon’s boot made the score 18-8. The inevitable Ronny Kynes score was next – though not a “catch’n’Kynes” in the purest sense, it still came from driving domianance. Smerdon again converted, it was 26-8 and Ebbw dared to dream of a bonus point. Tremendous pressure by the home team, who were now playing with pace and intensity from prop to full back, set up a scrum in the Ponty 22m area and, with the bank and stand cheering them on, the forwards won a penalty try that sealed an amazing victory by 34 points to 8. In the words of one long-time Ebbw supporter, the second half was as good a performance as has been seen at ECP and the Steelmen deserved the victory and the bonus point.

The Ebbw bench was, once again, hugely influential. The ability to bring on players of the quality of ian George, Joe Franchi and Rob Sevenoaks for the last quarter is a luxury few clubs can boast.

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Enillodd Glynebwy eu 8fed gêm yn olynol yn yr Uwch Gynghrair, gyda phwynt bonws yn erbyn pencampwyr, Pontypridd.
Dechreuodd Pontypridd yn gryf ac roedd Ebwy o dan y lash am y chwarter awr cyntaf. Creuodd Ponty lwyth o gyfleoedd gan redeg y bêl at Lynebwy, ond amddiffyn da ac opsiynau gwael yn golygu bod dim ond cais gan gefnwr Gary Williams a throsiad gan yr hen goes Ceri Sweeney gyda nhw ar ôl 15 munud. Ond ar y blaen gan 8-0 oedden nhw, a doedd Glynebwy ddim wedi bygwth o gwbl.
Sgoriodd Glynebwy nesaf. Ar ôl sgrym ymosodol, symudwyd y bêl i’r chwith, a daeth David Williams i mewn i’r llinell yn berffaith i ryddhau Chris Levesley a sgoriodd o dan y pyst. Gyda’r trosiad, gan faswr Iain Smerdon, roedd y gêm yn gyfartal.
Er bod Ponty yn parhau i ymosod, roedd Glynebwy yn dod mewn i’r gêm yn fwy ac yn fwy, ac roedd yn amlwg bod cryfder y pac yn peri problemau mawr i’r ymwelwyr, yn enwedig yn y sgrym. Ar fin yr egwyl, cosbwyd Ponty gan dyfarnwr Wayne Davies, a llwyddodd Iain Smerdon gyda’r cic. 10-8 i Lynewby oedd hi ar yr egwyl.

Daeth oruchafiaeth blaenwyr Glynebwy i’r amlwg yn yr ail hanner ac, yn fuan iawn, roedd yn eglur bod blaenwyr Ponty yn ffaelu ymdopi â’u nerth. Roedd y rheng flaen – Ross Jones, Mathew Williams a Gethin Robinson – yn rheoli’r sgrymiau; roedd Damien Hudd ac Ashley Sweet yn dominyddu y llinellau ac yn grymus iawn yn ymosod ac yn amddiffyn, a’r rheng ôl, Ronny Kynes, Cameron Regan a Luke Crocker yn taclo’n ffyrnig ac yn ymosod mor aml a phosibl.

Eilydd o fachwr, Joe Franchi oedd yn hawlio sgôr nesaf Glynebwy, yn dod lan â’r bel ar ôl sgarmes pwerus. Gyda throsiad Smerdon, 18-8 oedd y sgôr. Trydydd cais Glynebwy oedd gan Ronny Kynes, braidd yn anochel, efallai, er nad “catch’n’Kynes” go iawn oedd e – ond dal yn dod o yrru cryf gan flaenwyr Glynebwy. Trosiodd Smerdon unwaith eto am 26-8. Oedd Glynebwy erbyn hyn yn breuddwydio am bwynt bonws? Yn erbyn Pontypridd? Oedd, heb os nac oni bai, ac roedden nhw’n rhoi eu gwrthwynebwyr dan bwys aruthrol, gan chwarae gyda chyflymder a dwyster o brop i gefnwr. Yn y pen draw, sefydlwyd sgrym yn ardal 22m Ponty a, gyda’r banc a’r stondin yn codi’r to, doedd Ponty ddim yn gallu stopio Glynebwy’n gyfreithlon a doedd dim dewis gan dyfarnwr Mr Davies ond mynd o dan y pyst am y cais cosb i selio buddugoliaeth anhygoel gan 34 pwynt i 8 – a’r pwynt bonws, wrth gwrs! Yng ngeiriau un cefnogwr hir-amser Glynebwy, roedd perfformiad Glynebwy yn yr ail hanner cystal ag unrhyw perfformiad a gwelwyd ar BEC… erioed!

Unwaith eto roedd cryfder a dyfnder y ‘fainc’ yn hollbwysig i Lynebwy, gyda chwarewyr fel Rob Sevenoaks, Joe Franchi ac Ian George yn cael dylanwad enfawr ar y gêm.

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