Ronny Kynes, left, and Matthew Williams ( Image Right) celebrate Ebbw Vale's famous victory. Vale’s giant-killing continued when this clear- cut win over a hesitant Swansea put them into the semi-finals of the Swalec Cup alongside Cross Keys, Newbridge and Pontypridd. After wins over Newport and Carmarthen Quins they knocked out another Premiership club in three- times former Cup-winners Swansea and can now dream of winning the cup for the first time.
In their one final appearance in 1998 they were led by Wales flanker Kingsley Jones but lost 19-12 to Llanelli at Bristol’s Ashton Gate. Such is the belief and confidence in the current side that coaches Neil Edwards and Jason Strange can see no reason why they cannot go all the way. “We have now not just beaten but been clear winners over three Premiership sides,” said Strange, “and we know that if we play to our full potential, then all things are possible.
“We have now reeled off 16 consecutive wins in Cup and league – a new club record – and there is more to come from the side.” As well as the whole side played, it was Kingsley Jones’ youngest son, Dorian, who was the star of the show in kicking 20 points via five penalties, a conversion and drop goal. Three of the penalties were from near halfway and the drop goal a mammoth 50-metre effort to underline his potency.
But he also distributed crisply and made some fine breaks to complement the hard work of his pack, in which the front row of Josh Powell, Matthew Williams and Rob Sevenoaks dominated the scrum and the back row of Nicky Coughlin, Ethan Matthew and Ronny Kynes won the contact area. Swansea looked a side devoid of leadership and confidence and it was difficult to see how they led 16-12 at the break.
Vale had at one stage led 12-6 without too much trouble – 12 points from Jones outdoing six from opposite number James Dixon – and had come agonisingly close to two tries. Wing Tom Ashmead was brought down near the line and scrum-half Gareth James lost the ball in the act of scoring, and then with their one serious attack of the half Swansea got a try through flanker Andrew Gwynne, followed by a conversion and penalty from Dixon. But come the second half the Steelmen never looked back after non-stop flanker Kynes charged down a Dixon kick to drive over for a converted try.
Replacement Sam Davies did kick a fine goal for the visitors before Jones carved out two great openings, only for those around him to mishandle in prime positions. But with the Swansea scrum in disarray, up stepped Jones to nail two penalties to take his side into the semi-final. Ebbw Vale: C Simpson; W Cunliffe, A Jones, T Davies (capt), T Ashmead; Dorian Jones, G James (David Jones 65); J Powell, M Williams, R Sevenoaks (J Powell 77), J Bartlett, A Sweet; N Coughlin, E Matthews, R Kynes.
Try: R Kynes; con: Dorian Jones; pens: D Jones (5); drop goal: D Jones.
Swansea: N Thomas; L Harrhy, R Evans ( A Jenkins 55), S Watermeyer, N Harwood; J Dixon (S Davies 52), R Wells (J Preddy 73); M Norman (C Cross 12-16), P John (A Rees 72), A Clatworthy (C Cross 60), B Davies (J Jones 60), S Kiley (capt), A Gwynne, D Baker, J Bija.
Try: A Gwynne; con: J Dixon; pens: J Dixon (3), S Davies.
Referee: Tim Hayes (Ffairfach).