Ebbw Vale returned to winning ways, scoring 7 tries in overcoming a dogged Bridgend at a chilly Eugene Cross Park on Wednesday night. As important as the win, and the five points, was the performance as the Steelmen played with the attitude and ferocity that served them so well during the first half of the season. The pack put in a tremendous shift, dominating every aspect of the forward battle and the backs looked slicker and more penetrating than they have for some time.
The writing was on the wall for the Ravens as early as the 5th minute when a Carl Meyer penalty to touch set up a driving maul that ended with Ronny Kynes in the driving seat to claim the try that Adam Jones converted. Bridgend bounced back and were only thwarted by an Ebbw offence that saw Adam Jones receive a yellow card and James Dixon kick the three points – his side’s only points on the night. Ebbw’s second try was a bizarre affair: visiting scrum half and former Steelman Derrick Treadray attempted a clearance kick that sent the ball up vertically. Gravity worked its mysterious charm and the ball descended towards an off-side Raven who obligingly tapped it into the arms of Ashley Sweet who sauntered over to make the score 12-3. It was 19-3 before the break, after Mr John decided that a driving maul was illegally stopped by the retreating visitors and awarded a penalty try that Adam Jones improved.
The second half was just five minutes old when Adam Jones accepted a pass from the rampaging Damien Hudd to cross at the posts and add the conversion. There were further scores for Man of the Match Ross Jones and a classic catch’n’Kynes before the night’s biggest cheer greeted Gareth ‘Denver’ WIlliams’s touchdown – although he may want to review his scoring dive! With Adam Jones finding his range beautifully, the score finished 45-3 to the rampant Steelmen, firmly in second place with four games to go.
The Ebbw team was: Carl Meyer, Tom James, Nathan Preece, Adam Jones, Owen Williams; Iain Smerdon, Rhys Downes; Ross Jones, Mathew Williams, Gethin Robinson; Damien Hudd (capt), Ashley Sweet; Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Cameron Reagan Replacements: John Lavender, Rhys Francis, Rob Sevenoaks, Gareth Rusby-Davies, Gareth Denver, Dai Langdon, Chris Thomas, Tom Watkins.