March 4th: Ebbw Vale 3 Merthyr 13

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March 4th: Ebbw Vale 3 Merthyr 13

From an Ebbw perspective it’s  hard to take many positives from this game which Merthyr deserved to win.  In all fairness, it was a filthy afternoon of mud and rain, so nobody expected a festival of silky running, and full credit must go to both sides for sheer effort and endurance.

Other than a very unpleasant fracas early on that resulted in red cards for two Davieses Ebbw’s Jonathan  and Merthyr’s Ossian, the first half was cagey and pretty uneventful until a few minutes before half time. A high tackle yielded a penalty to Merthyr near the home 22 and, rather than an easy 3 points, Gareth Davies kicked for touch that led to a lineout drive. It seemed that Ebbw got defenders under Nathan Trevett, but Mr Morris had a long discussion with his Assistant and awarded a try that Matthew Jarvis converted. From the restart, Merthyr were penalised and Josh Lewis was on target to make the score 7-3 at half time.

The second half scoring was limited to two Jarvis penalties. Ebbw’s earlier scrum superiority was counteracted, with a whole string of collapses and wheels that saw earnest boot cleaning and those looks of cherubic innocence only props can manage. To be fair, it must have been almost impossible to get a foothold at times.

Ebbw’s line out was well below usual standards and driving mauls were effectively defended. The forward tussle was immense with Merthyr’s number 8 Phil Rees the game’s outstanding player, but others on both sides also very prominent.

At the end of a bruising 80 minutes it was the Ironmen who deservedly moved on to the semi finals, leaving the Steelmen to rue a below par performance and start thinking about putting things right for the visit of Pontypridd.

Ebbw’s team was:

Dan Haymond, Chris Levesley, Nathan Preece, Dominic Franchi, James Lewis; Josh Lewis, Rob Lewis; Ross Jones, Joe Franchi, Rob Sevenoaks; Damien Hudd (capt), Lance Randall; Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Jonathan Davies. Bench: Jonny Bowen, Gethin Robinson, Ian George, Joe Bartlett, Jack Goodey, Dai Jones, Dai Langdon, Stefan Thomas.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

O safbwynt Glynebwy anodd iawn oedd cymryd pethau positif o’r gêm hon. Does dim dwywaith am y ffaith bod Merthyr yn haeddu’r fuddugoliaeth a aeth â nhw i’r rownd cynderfynol.

Roedd yn brynhawn budr o laid a glaw, a doedd neb yn disgwyl gweld gwêdd o redeg sidanaidd, ond pob clod i’r ddau dîm am ddal ati am 80 munud, a dangos dyfalbarhad ag ymdrech bur.

Ar wahân i fracas annymunol iawn yn gynnar yn y gêm, a arweiniodd at gardiau coch i Ossian Davies o Ferthyr a Jonathan Davies o Lynebwy, roedd yr hanner cyntaf yn ddigyffro â’r ddau dim fel bocswyr pwysau trwm, yn sefyll yn agos iawn ac yn holi a stilio ei gilydd am fwlch neu wendid.  Wedi 35 munud, cafodd Merthyr gyfle i sicrhau triphwynt ond dewis y capten oedd mynd am y llinell yn y cornel. Ffurfiwyd sgarmes o’r llinell ac aeth y prop Nathan Trevett drosodd am y cais – er bod llawer yn meddwl bod amddiffynwyr wedi ei rwystro rhag dirio’r bêl. Trosiodd Matthew Jarvis ac roedd Merthyr yn y blaen gan 7-0, ond daeth Glynebwy yn ôl ar unwaith gan gic cosb Josh Lewis, a 7-3 oedd y sgôr ar yr egwyl.

Roedd yr ail hanner yn debyg iawn i’r cyntaf, ond collodd y tîm cartref ei ragoriaeth yn y sgrymia. I fod yn deg, roedd sefyll ar wyneb lithrig y maes yn anodd, felly roedd cael troedle i sgrymio bron yn amhosibl weithiau, ond roedd rheng flaen Merthyr yn cael hi’n anoddach na blaenwyr Glynebwy! Gyda’r llinell yn ffaelu gweithio fel mae’n arfer gwneud, doedd dim platfform gan Lynebwy, a doedd dim ffordd twry amddiffyn Merthyr. Dau gic cosb gan Jarvis oedd unig sgoriau‘r ail hanner, ac, ar ddiwedd prynhawn siomedig iawn, aeth Merthyr ymlaen i’r rownd nesaf, gan adael y Gwyr Dur i ddechrau meddwl am sut i unioni pethau cyn ymweliad Pontypridd ar yr 17eg.

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