25 September 2023 / Club News

Next Opponents Ammanford.......

Ammanford RFC's first officially recorded rugby match came in 1887 against a team from Mynyddbach. The game was played at Ynys field opposite the river Amman and their initial clubhouse was the Cross Inn Hotel on Ammanford Square. Ammanford's first official strip colours were amber and black, then switching colours twice before the club settled on black and blue in 1912. During the 1895-96 season Ammanford RFC successfully gained membership to the Welsh Rugby Union. Founder members of the West Wales League in 1929-30 along with Ystalyfera, Ammanford finished as the first ever Champions, getting a league ‘double’ over Ystalyfera in the process. The following season Ystalyfera were Champions, both sides never to gain the honour again. In 1932-33 Ammanford were bottom of the league for the first time, and in those early seasons Ammanford remained as a middle order side. They finished second in season 1937-38 with 22 wins 2 draws and 2 defeats behind Tumble, who had 22 wins 2 draws and 1 defeat. In the play-offs they lost to Ystradgynlais, who in turn lost 0 – 3 to Tumble for the shield. In 1946-47, Ystalyfera and Ammanford met in the Semi-Final of the Cup at Pontardawe in front of 3,500 spectators. ‘Fera won that encounter 9 – 7 and went on to lose in the Final to Tumble. In 1950-51, the first season of the West Wales Championship, Ammanford were bottom of the league again. A time of building a good side ensued and in 1958-59 they finished 3rd only losing one game. Beating undefeated League leaders Pontyberem in the play-off Semi, they lost 5 – 8 at St Helens (after a first 0 – 0 match stalemate) against Cwmllynfell. Not disappointed, they won the West Wales Cup 8 – 6, beating Abercrave and won the Presidents Cup beating Cwmllynfell. Form then slowly eradicated and Ammanford were bottom again in 1970-71. Following the introduction of Sections in 1974, Ammanford began in Section ‘C’ and between Sections A to E our visitors achieved promotion on no less than six occasions. Being relegated five times, their best achievement was reaching Section ‘A’ in 1991.

The formation of the National League saw Ammanford begin in Division Seven West, and after a second-place promotion in the inaugural season they climbed up through the leagues to join us in Division Three South West in 2003-04. We met In a West Wales Cup Third Round tie at Ammanford in season 1999-2000. Ystalyfera finishing comfortable winners 45 – 19. From 2005 Ammanford enjoyed a ‘Golden’ period. Champions of Division Three West and West Wales Bowl winners over Newcastle Emlyn in 2007-08, they won the Welsh Plate beating Risca 46 – 20 in the next season. In 2010-11 they finished Champions of Division Two West and won the Welsh Plate a second time beating Glynneath 35 – 13. Between 2011 and 2014 Ammanford kept a steady position in the league and in 2015 were transferred to Division One West Central. In 2015-16 Ammanford were successful, holding 2nd place behind runaway leaders Skewen, getting a League “double” over Ystalyfera, and winning the West Wales Cup for the 2nd time - beating Kidwelly 23 – 8.  Ammanford remained within One West for the next seven years, the ‘Fera achieving two league “doubles” in 2017-19 before our promotion into the Championship.

Ammanford were themselves promoted in 2022-23, losing 12-42 to Bonymaen in the West Wales Cup final.

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