Ebbw Vale 21 Cardiff 23

By Ian Tabor | 25/11/2017

Cardiff won a match at Eugene Cross Park for the first time in seven years as they beat the Steelmen in a lunchtime kick off.

On a cold but thankfully dry morning the Blue & Blacks had to make a very late change as Ethan Lewis was pulled out of the game to cover for injuries at the Cardiff Blues. That meant Ian Jenkins started and he was to score Cardiff’s first try. Ben Thomas had given Cardiff the lead with a penalty early on, but Ebbw hit back with a try from fullback Dan Haymond. There then followed a series of penalties that landed Cardiff near the home line and when the first catch and drive went wrong the ball was recycled and Jenkins was able to plough over near the posts, Ben Thomas added the conversion.

Ebbw were struggling with a competitive Cardiff eight and when they were penalised at a scrum Thomas again slotted the points for a 13-7 advantage. The game then swung the Steelmen’s way. The Blue & Blacks were pinned down in their twenty-two and when they received a yellow card for offside, Callum Hall pushed the home side three points closer from the resulting penalty When a second yellow was issued the outside half levelled the scores as the half time whilst blew.

Ebbw Vale started the second half brightly and were rewarded when Haymond crossed for his second try. Hall missed the conversion but added a penalty as Ebbw looked to stretch away. The Blue & Blacks defence was on song, however, and for the last quarter of the game started to give them a slight advantage. When the ball was stripped away in a tackle, James Beal picked up the loose ball and beat the first line of defence, he linked with Llywarch ap Myrddin who gave the scoring pass to debutant Corey Howells who had a simple run to the line. Thomas was on target with the extras and Cardiff were back to within a score.

The defence was to win another penalty as Ebbw tried to run the ball away from their own half. This time the kick was within range and Thomas coolly stepped up to bang it over from 40 plus metres and put the Blue & Blacks ahead. With 15 minutes left the game was still in the balance, but Cardiff played in the right areas of the pitch and controlled the final minutes. When the referee awarded them another scrum penalty deep into injury time Cardiff were happy to hammer the ball into the stand and take a well-deserved win.

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