Reigning champions Ebbw Vale headed westwards to take on the Premiership’s bottom club, Swansea, who have won just once this season and suffered a 50-point defeat at Bedwas on Saturday.
On a table-top surface, with the elements at their backs, Swansea started by far the better, and soon found themselves 13-0 up, with two Jac Wilson penalties and a try from centre Jedd Evans who took advantage of a gap in the visitors’ defence to score at the posts off first phase line out ball. Wilson converted.
Ebbw’s only score of the first half came on 20 minutes when Josh Lewis stroked over a penalty after Swansea infringed at a scrum – an area in which they came under increasing pressure and could have been penalised more often. Chances did come Ebbw’s way: a superb midfield break by Josh Lewis set up Ryan Gardner, but the ball went forward as he was tackled, and a great Lewis cross kick was gathered by Chris Levesley who was just bundled to touch by an outstanding tackle from Julian Mogg. Wilson added a third goal, to give the All Whites a deserved 16-3 lead at half time, with Lewis’s last minute penalty shot hitting the bar and bouncing the wrong side!
Despite Swansea’s efforts in the second half, it became obvious that the Steelmen’s forward superiority was telling. The Whites had two forwards sin-binned for their troubles as they frequently infringed. Tries came from Ronny Kynes, Ethan Doyle, Rhys Clarke and replacement Dawid Rubasniak. Lewis converted three and Ebbw led 29-16 with minutes to go. There was a tense finish as hooker Paul John returning from a yellow card, burst through to score. Wilson’s conversion gave his team a bonus point and put them within a converted try of winning. A final attack by the home side ended in a knock on and it was the Steelmen who walked off with the win, and five valuable points.
Swansea’s players never gave up, and their young forwards have three years without relegation worries to gain experience and develop into a competitive unit.
Dan Haymond, Chris Levesley, Nathan Preece, Liam Jones, Ryan Gardner; Josh Lewis, Chris Thomas; Ian George, Joe Franchi, Gethin Robinson; Joe Bartlett, Damien Hudd (capt); Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Ethan Doyle.
Replacements: Nicky Thomas, Ross Jones, Rob Sevenoaks, Dawid Rubasniak, Josh Jacas, Ben Ellis, Jordan Howells, Craig Duncan.
Liam Jones appeared on permit from Bedlinog RFC; many thanks to them.
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Mae Abertawe wedi dysgu bod bywyd yn yr Uwch Gynghrair yn anodd, heb gemau hawdd ac heb fawr o amser i fendio cyn yr her nesaf. Ond, pob clodd iddynt, chwaraeon nhw’n wych yn erbyn Glynebwy nos Iau, yn dangos ysybryd a dewder a mwy na thipyn o fedr hefyd, yn enwedig yn yr hanner cyntaf. Daeth cais cynnar i ganolwr Jedd Evans, a chiciodd Jac Wilson 11 pwynt. Unig ymateb Gynebwy oedd cic cosb i Josh Lewis – er bod cyfleoedd wedi dod i Ryan Gardner a Chris Levesley, yn dilyn gwaith da gan Lewis, ond roedd amddiffyn Abertawe yn sefyll yn gryf. 16-3 oedd y sgôr ar yr egwyl.
Roedd blaenwyr Glynebwy’n rhy gryf i’w gwrthwynebwyr, yn amlycaf yn y sgrymiau, lle basai’n bosibl i’r dyfarnwr gosbi rheng flaen Abertawe ar bron bob achlysur. Yn anochel, yn yr ail hanner, daeth ciciau cosb i Lynebwy ac, yn anochel hefyd, daeth ceisiadau i Ronny Kynes, Ethan Doyle, Rhys Clarke a’r eilydd Dawid Rubasniak. Trosiodd Josh Lewis dri ohonyn nhw, ac roedd yr ymwelwyr yn y blaen gan 29-16, gyda pwynt bonws yn ddiogel.
Chwarae teg i Abertawe, gwnaethon nhw eu gorau glas i gipio’r gêm yn y munudau olaf, gyda chais i eilydd o fachwr Paul John, a drosiwyd gan Wilson, ond llwyddodd Glynebwy gadw nhw rhag ychwanegu at eu cyfanswm. Aeth Gwyr y Dur adref gyda’r fuddugoliaeth, 29-23, a’r pum pwynt.