Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ebbw Vale 57 Blackwood 3, 22/10/11

The Steelmen put in their best display of the season as they overcame the 15 men of Blackwood (and one WRU referee) to romp home with a bonus point and a sackful of tries.

From the Ebbw Vale website:

When the teams in 3rd and 4th place meet, you can expect a nervous, tight affair with the game turning on a missed tackle here, a spark of brilliance there, a penalty kick sailing over - or wide. Not so at Eugene Cross Park on Saturday, when 3rd placed Ebbw Vale handed out a real drubbing to a very disappointing Blackwood side, scoring 9 tries in the process. Producing some of their best rugby of the season, and with the pack dominating every aspect of the forward battle, Ebbw's backs clicked, playing with a precision and pace that the visitors could not counter.

Everyone of Ebbw's players was superb, so I really won't single out any individuals for attention - well apart from one.

It may seem churlish to criticise the refereeing after such a comprehensive victory, but if it weren't for the bizarre decisions of the official, it could easily have been another 20 points or more for the Vale. Some unbelievable stuff was witnessed.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Y&T, Coal Exchange, Cardiff, 15/10/11

Is there such a thing as a bad night with Y&T? On last Saturday's evidence, once again the answer is no, as Dave and the boys turned yet another great night of classic tracks and material from the latest record 'Facemelter'.

This was Y&T's fourth October visit to Cardiff in four years playing at four different venues:

2008 The Point, 2009 The Globe, 2010 Millenium Music Hall, 2011 Coal Exchange.

Worryingly they all seem to close after Y&T have played.

The set list was as expected these days: Black Tiger, Mean Streak, Summertime Girls, Rescue Me, Lipstick and Leather, I Believe In You etc etc.


John Nymann

Dave Meniketti

Mike Vanderhule on drums

Brad Lang on bass these days following Phil Kennermore's death earlier this year

After the gig


...and Dave

You tube clips to follow

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Answer, Steelhouse, Ebbw Vale, 14/10/11

Well, they were the biggest band yet to play the Steelhouse and it showed, as tickets for The Answer were sold out weeks in advance. And what a night they delivered.

First up were Gentlemen's Pistols, an impressive hard rocking foursome who looked as though they'd just been transported from a student demo in 1972. But looks are deceptive, as they played heavy and energetically, with influences from Budgie to ZZ Top to Kings of Leon and, yes, a little bit of Sabbath.

And then the main men. Now when you spent a year and a half on the road as support to AC/DC you will have played some pretty big gigs. Ebbw Vale 'Welfare' is no Madison Square Gardens, but with a new album out called "Revival", Northern Ireland's The Answer have done literally that and gone back to the grassroots roots in playing smaller gigs around the UK. All in all, it was a priviledge to have them at the Steelhouse.

With material drawn heavily from the new record, Revival got a major plug but it was the older material like Preachin' that brought the house down.


The Answer

Cormac Neeson...


Micky Waters on bass

Up close and personal

Paul Mahon

Watch the TV Cormac, we're watching the World Cup on that tomorrow!

In the pit...

...with the faithful

James Heatley on drums

Hanging with the band

Great blokes, great night, they deserve to play much bigger venues.

You tube clips to follow...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ebbw Vale 59 Tredegar 17, 08/10/11

Despite trailing 0-10 in the early stages, Ebbw Vale's pace and power eventually proved too much for a poor, but committed, Tredegar side in the neighbours' first competitive fixture for over 15 years.

A bonus point victory eventually came Ebbw's way early in the second half and superior fitness took its toll in the last quarter as the Steelmen ran in a batch of touchdowns.

From the Ebbw website:

"Tredegar have struggled in the league so far this season, following their excellent promotion campaign, but they started very brightly and took the game to the hosts. After 18 minutes, scrum half and captain Rhys Hallett got his hands to an intended Ebbw pass, booted ahead and crossed under the posts. The conversion and a later penalty by outside half Amber made the score 10-0 and Tredegar supporters had the faint whiff of an upset in their nostrils. However, there were signs that all was not well in the visitors' ranks as they responded to Ebbw pressure with a raft of infringements that earned them two yellow cards. A pushover try from Nicky Coughlin and a Tom Macpherson touchdown were both converted by Dan Haymond to give Ebbw a 14-10 interval lead.

Ebbw got off to a good start after the break and Tom Daly crossed for the third try, Haymond again converted. Tredegar bounced back, a great individual effort by centre McGovern, converted by the accurate Amber, bringing the score back to 21-17. However, Ebbw were clearly the fitter and more organised side and this combination proved too much. Scrum dominance, line out supremacy and and powerful mauling took their toll. Tredegar conceded a penalty try as they collapsed a tryline-bound driving maul, and the bonus point was secured by the Steelmen. Outstanding contributions from Coughlin, Ross Jones, Ashley Sweet and man-of-the-match Ronnie Kynes built the platform for five more tries from Tom Ashmead (2), Tom Macpherson, Tom Daly and Callum Brennan. Dorian Jones and Charlie Simpson chipped in with two conversions each to make the final score 59-17."