Chairman Peter Rees previews the Ebbw Vale game

Croeso cynnes iawn a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i bawb o Glwb Rygbi Glyn Ebwy i Fanc Yr Eglwys heddi! It is with great pleasure that we welcome Ebbw Vale RFC to Church Bank for our first home fixture of 2020.
How things can change in the world of rugby from one season to the next. When we hosted the corresponding fixture last year Ebbw Vale were one position, one point and one win ahead of the Drovers in the table and were firmly towards the top of the table. This season (despite taking a home win against the Drovers!) they lie at the foot of the table with just two victories out of twelve. They will surely have been very disappointed not to have taken a valuable home victory in their recent televised game against Merthyr (something the Drovers will have sympathy with based on our recent experience at the Wern). They certainly had the opportunity to win and, along with the league results generally, it certainly demonstrates that there is little to choose between any of the teams in the league this year. Meanwhile the Drovers’ came through the festive season with a creditable point tally and will feel that their bonus point victory away at Colwyn Bay has gone some way to putting the season back on track. The coaching team will be determined to build some momentum this weekend and to avenge the earlier defeat at Eugene Park, but it will not be easy will as usual be formidable opponents particularly as the weather forecast looks damp to say the least!
The game last weekend at Eirias Park was fairly typical of our recent fixtures “up north” as the neither side dominated and whenever the Drovers went ahead, we seemed to concede easy points making it a close-run affair right to the very end. This year’s fixture was however another positive advert for premiership rugby with both sides exhibiting good skills and even though our latter tries came through the forwards our backs should plenty of pace and our usual determination to run the ball. Congratulations to Daf Hughes for taking on the mantle of captain for the first time, it was good to see the mature approach that was taken in communicating with the referee and in dealing with the “challenging” atmosphere that seemed to develop from the home supporters in the latter stages of the game. Not for the first time, from our experience, the public announcer overstepped the mark in trying to excite the crowd and I have to acknowledge that RGC representative reflected on our concerns and instructed him to refrain from his excessively partisan commentary!
Our match ball today is sponsored once again by John & Jeff Rees, thank you both!
Finally, a huge thank you to Aled Walters (SARFU & Llandovery Youth!) and our own Gareth Salt for an absolutely fantastic event week last Monday. The main room at the clubhouse was absolutely full and everyone was enthralled with the “conversation” that Gareth facilitated with his usual professional approach. Followers of social media will have seen numerous pictures of members with Aled and his World Cup medal and I have been told by so many people that they would have paid good money for such an informative and enjoyable evening!
Er Gwaethaf Pawb a Phopeth Ni Yma o Hyd! Ymlaen Y Porthmyn!
Peter Rees Cadeirydd/Chairman

Cardiff 16 13 0 3 396 243 61
Carmarthen Quins 17 10 3 4 372 278 54
Aberavon 16 11 0 5 371 272 53
Llandovery 16 9 2 5 344 285 48
Pontypridd 18 10 0 8 394 376 47
Merthyr 18 8 0 10 362 374 44
RGC 1404 17 8 1 8 409 381 43
Newport 15 7 0 8 294 278 37
Swansea 17 7 0 10 246 292 35
Llanelli 15 6 0 9 293 412 27
Ebbw Vale 17 4 2 11 283 351 27
Bridgend Ravens 18 3 0 15 271 493 19