The 2013/14 season was our last in the Championship and began with an away game with a difference, it was in North Wales where the WRU had created a new club, RGC, that had the good fortune to have Rupert Moon at the helm. In their programme he wrote “I have to pinch myself at the thought of welcoming the players and committee of such an illustrious club stepped in history as Ebbw Vale.” We responded with a 31-16 win with tries from Ronnie Kynes, Spencer Gibson and a penalty try boosted by Dan Haymond landing four penalty goals and two conversions.
Led by the irrepressible Damien Hudd the Steelmen were in confident mood for the first home game of the season against Bargoed which we won 33-18 after being 13-8 down at half-time. Tries came from Jack Flower, Wes Cunliffe, Sion Jones and Joe Franchi, Ian Smerdon converting two, dropping a goal and kicking a penalty. Josh Prosser also landed a penalty and the scene was set for a season that would end with promotion. Man of the Match was Cameron Regan.
Jason Strange was our head coach in 2013/14 as he is today and comments in the match programme for the Bargoed game still apply – “Success in rugby does not come without commitment on and off the field. Whether taking part in vigorous pre-season training improving fitness and skills, focusing on the development of the match day game plan or an in-depth analysis of performance, all can provide that edge that keeps you ahead of the opposition. Even the smallest attention to detail can provide that one opportunity that will achieve victory.”
Our return to the Premiership began in September 2014 at home against Llandovery that was a thriller we won 30-29 one of many close finishes with the Drovers and more entertaining than our first game with them in 1982. We were in the 2nd Division and travelled west to endure a game later described as being as tight as a club treasurer’s wallet. It was try-less and a 3-3 draw looked likely until our young outside-half, Jason Strange, dropped a cheeky goal and we won 6-3. After sampling the local brew we travelled east feeling satisfied and confident we had found a lad of considerable promise.