EBBW Vale clinched a valuable 27-26 win in a tightly-fought match against RGC1404 at Eugene Cross Park to temporarily move into third place in the Principality Premiership table, writes Ian Golden.

The first half wasn’t pretty, but the second turned out to be a classic, with the result in doubt right up until the final whistle.

RGC made their early pressure count when, after a good build-up, Danny Cross dived over just to the right of the sticks for an 11th minute opening try. Billy McBryde missed the conversion and that in the end proved costly.

Ebbw were soon level. Following a lengthy Dai Jones kick, a good passing move from the line-out led to Dan Haymond grounding. Rhys Jones’ successful kick edged them ahead and, after a delay following a head injury to Danny Cross, he added a penalty to put the score onto 10-5.

Toby Fricker burst through the RGC back-line. He was stopped in his tracks, but Toby Evans was in support to pick up the loose ball and score. Jones added the extras putting the score onto 17-5 at the break.

RGC struck early in the second half, Billy McBryde forcing his way over the line just five minutes after the restart. He successfully converted his own try.

Jones’ successful penalty kick regained Ebbw some breathing space with a 20-12 advantage, but RGC soon clawed that back after Tom Hughes ripped open the Ebbw defence, creating a try for Harri Evans that McBryde improved.

From kick-off, the visitors took the lead for the first time. Dion James chased his own kick and fingertipped a try under the sticks. McBryde converted, 26-20 to RGC.

The pendulum swung Ebbw’s way again on 63 minutes when Cameron Regan ran over the line from a scrum. Rhys Jones converted and now Ebbw were leading 27-26.

RGC pushed hard for a winner. After being stopped twice near to the line, eventually they gave away a penalty and it was left for Ebbw to stick the ball up the jumper until time ran out.

Ebbw Vale: D Haymond (D Langdon 73); S Thomas, J Lewis (A Owen 57), D Franchi, T Fricker; Rhys Jones, D Jones; L Garrett (Ross Jones 60), R Francis (J Franchi 60), R Sevenoaks; R Clarke, A Sweet, C Regan, L Evans (O Young 79), L Young (K Parker 60).

Tries: D Haymond, T Evans, C Regan. Conversions: Rhys Jones (3). Penalties: Rhys Jones (2).

RGC : D Jones; I Evans, T Hughes, D Cross (S Jones 25), H Evans; B McBryde, E Jones (N Butterworth 79); J Simpson (N Roberts 79), E Yardley (C Reynolds 65), S Wainwright (J Scott 69); B Jones, R Williams, A Williams, W Bryan (J Leach 73), T Grey (I Rowlands 65).

Tries: D Cross, B McBryde, H Evans, D Jones. Conversions: B McBryde (3)

Ebbw Vale Star Man: Lloyd Evans