Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ebbw Vale 10 Pontypridd 22, SWALEC Cup, 21/01/15

On an afternoon of extreme weather conditions ranging from sunshine to snow showers, a large crowd saw the visitors from Pontypridd run out worthy winners by 22-10 in this SWALEC Cup encounter, and they will be the draw all others will want to avoid in the next round.

Ebbw Vale started well and gave a good account of themselves despite missing stalwarts Ashley Sweet, Ronny Kynes, Spencer Gibson and with Harrison Keedie resting from Wales U20 duty.

Ebbw's powerful scrum wrecked panic in Ponty's defence leading to a kick rush corner try for Owen Williams. With the try converted, a further penalty put the Steelmen 10-0 up, but a Ponty reply before half time meant that facing the second half wind/gale/blizzard (or 'bit of a breeze' in Trefil) with only a 10-7 advantage was going to prove onerous.

So it proved to be. A well drilled Ponty defence, and some squandered chances by Ebbw meant that a further two Ponty tries were sufficient to end the Steelmen's cup hopes for another year (44 seasons and counting).

Most sensible home fans had few complaints, but could take heart from a better display than those seen versus Cross Keys and at Aberavon in recent weeks. Furthermore, a pulsating Welsh cup tie on a winter's afternoon really exemplifies all that is good about Welsh club rugby: 2 proud clubs, with passionate support, played hard but fair.

Nonetheless, the two remaining home games against Bridgend and Bedwas are must win encounters if the Eugene Cross Park side are serious contenders for the Premiership Play-offs.

1st half pics

Ebbw enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges going into a 10-0 lead

Packing them in on the bank

Blinding sun!

2nd half pics

Ponty attack in a blizzard

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