On a baking hot afternoon the players of Bedwas and Ebbw Vale served up a thoroughly entertaining and, ultimately, nail biting game that ended with Ebbw victorious by the smallest of margins.
Lewis Dennett and Steffan Jones swapped penalties before impressive debutante Paul King, playing at outside centre, made a superb break and found Lewis Young in support. Young crossed for the game’s first try which Dennett converted to put Ebbw 10-3 up.
The action was end to end as bot sides looked to run from deep and Joe Scrivens finished a period of great pressure by Bedwas, making the score 10-8. The final score of the first half came from a well struck Dennett penalty and Ebbw went off for cold refreshment leading 13-8.
Bedwas outside half Steffan Jones took a grip on the game in the second half, first of all striking a penalty then catching his own chip ahead to cross at the posts and covert, giving his side the lead by 18 points to 8. With Lewis Dennett sin-binned for knocking the ball down, Dan Haymond took the box seat and was the epitome of cool when the penalty chances came, knowing over two from two to nudge Ebbw ahead 19-18. A scrum 35m out from the Ebbw line went down several times, with referee Mr Evans speaking to both front rows. When it went down again, he judged Ebbw at fault, giving Jones a chance to win it, but the fly half pulled the ball wide.
Ebbw knew they now only had to keep the ball and run the clock down, but another penalty gave Bedwas an attacking platform. Dai Jones stole the ball on the floor and passed to Joe Franchi who kicked it out to give the Steelmen the 4 points.
Man of the Match was Captain Incredible, Ronny Kynes who led by example and was ably supported by his forward colleagues who matched and often bettered the big Bedwas pack.
Many Ebbw supporters look back on the 54-5 defeat at Bedwas in October as the season’s low point. It is a measure of the progress made by players and coaches that Ebbw have gone on to win the other two league matches against one of the Premiership’s most honest, hard-working outfits.
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The team was Dan Haymond, Stef Thomas, Paul King*, Dom Franchi, Toby Fricker; Lewis Dennett, Sam Ireland; Ross Jones, Rhys Francis, Rob Sevenoaks; Kristian Parker, Lance Randall; Cameron Reagan, Ronny Kynes (capt), Lewis Young.
Bench: Joe Franchi, Joel Harries, Curtis Hicks*, Jonathan Davies, Ben Papp, Dai Jones, Srdan Majkic, Luke Shore*.
*Many thanks to Newbridge RFC for agreeing permits.