28 August 2019 / Club News

The New Championship Season

Season 2018-19 can be regarded as the most glorious and the greatest achievement in the 135+ year history of Ystalyfera RFC.  A long hard Division One West Central league campaign saw 18 victories and only two defeats away at Bonymaen and Glynneath, both finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. The ‘Fera were convincing victors in both the play-off games against Felinfoel, and deserved promotion to the Championship for the very first time.

Our exit from the Welsh Plate was at Treorchy where we were in the lead at the end of full time, but an amazing set of events saw the home side pinch the result with an impressive drop goal.

In the West Wales Cup Ystalyfera - as defending holders, were not able to play the final in the period allotted by the WRU, and the final of the Glamorgan County Silver Ball was narrowly lost to Nantyffyllon at the Bridgend Brewery Field with a weakened side.

In preparation of the forthcoming new season, much work has been put in to ensure our village club is able to address the expected strong challenge, both on and off the field in the forthcoming weeks. As always Ystalyfera will compete as we always have done, since our National League start way back in Division 8 Central ‘A’ in 1994. Indeed in this 25 year period the ‘Fera have won 3 Championships, 6 promotions and 6 various Cups/Bowls and Plates.

Five new players have joined the Club – namely Glenn Owens from Resolven (2nd Row), Talfan Allcock from Amman United (Three Quarter), Cerith Gibson from Brynamman (Back Row), Scott Meakins (Front Row) from Whitland, and Ben William-Jones from the Vardre (Scrum Half). They have already integrated well with the boys and have been impressed following our two friendly fixtures.

On 10th August we entertained Crymych, a Division One West side whom we have met twice before. In a good competitive fixture Ystalyfera won 17 – 7, Trys were scored by our back three Luc Caines, Josh Jarrett and Jonathan Bayliss, a conversion by Steff Castle. His Try raised Luc Caines’ total for the club to 300 points in 80 appearances, Steff Castle making his 100 appearance and 547 points, Josh Jarrett reaching 196 points in 115 games.

The trip to Brecon on 24th August was a hot encounter in very hot conditions. They had over a two year undefeated home record and ‘Fera worked a very good and rewarding 26 – 24 win. Our speedy wing Bowdy Davies scored a Try lifting his club total to 102 points in 46 games, further trys came from Luc Caines, Steffan (Saus) at No8 and Ben Williams on the flank. Steffan Castle kicked 3 Conversions. 2nd Row Steffan Dai Jones marked his 50th appearance for the club with an impressive ‘boxer’ injury over his eye. A good time was had by all with plenty of merriment after, everybody now ready for our challenging start to the new season.

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