11 February 2024 / Club News

Next Clwb Rygbi Castell Newydd Emlyn

Newcastle Emlyn was formed on 5 July 1977 following a public meeting held at the Emlyn Hall. It was agreed that it should be named Clwb Rygbi Castell Newydd Emlyn, and that the red and white hooped jerseys worn by the local football club should be adopted. Mike Heycock of Felingeri Flour Mill, Cwmcou, donated a set of jerseys and became the club’s first President. The first games were played at Gelligatti fields next to the town cemetery. Four pine trees were felled in Cwm Morgan and transported by coal lorry to the town where they were stripped and painted in the club's colours for use as posts. The Headmaster of Emlyn School helped by allowing the use of the changing facilities, and the occasional use of the school’s pitches for second team games. The club’s H.Q. was established at the ‘Red Cow’ in Adpar, and the old disused stables, became the committee room, tea-room, and changing room.

On Saturday 4 September 1977 their first team game was played against Laugharne 2nd XV, the Emlyn 2nd XV playing a Cardigan 3rd team away. At the beginning of the 1978/79 season the club moved to a field on Cwrcoed Meadows, which was large enough for two pitches and training lights; the First XV playing in the newly formed Section E of Llanelli and District. In 1988 the club was admitted as probationary members of the Welsh Rugby Union and were elected to West Wales Section ‘F’.This gave the honour of being the last team elected to the West Wales Championship before the formation of the Heineken League. (Tycroes and Llanybydder later replaced promoted Carmarthen Quins and Vardre in 1992-93). Newcastle Emlyn finished Section ‘F’ Champions in 1990-91, beating Ystalyfera 16-22 at Ynysydarren in our first meeting and friendly the same season.

In 1994 Newcastle Emlyn were founder members of the National League Div8 West ‘A’. Promoted then and Champions the next season, followed by two advances due to re-organisation saw a place in Division 4 West in 1998. Between 1999 and 2002 Newcastle Emlyn played six league games against Ystalyfera, the ‘Fera winning four, a draw and one defeat. Steady form within the next twelve seasons saw a West Wales Bowl final in 2007-08, Division 3 West Championship in 2009-10, and a division 3 West promotion plus a first West Wales Bowl Win in 2012-13. The next two seasons saw further promotions, the 2014-15 season being Division 1 Champions and their first Welsh Plate final. In both these seasons Ystalyfera achieved 18-12 and 27-9 friendly wins respectively.

Newcastle Emlyn had their first run at Championship level between 2015 and 2019, continuing thru the COVIT years in Division 1 West. In 2021-22 Newcastle Emlyn won the West Wales Cup for the first time, beating Llangennech 34-22. Promoted back into the Championship (West) in 2022-23, Ystalyfera beat Newcastle Emlyn 24-23 at Ynysydarren on 11th November 2023, with a current tally of seven wins for the ’Fera, two for the Emlyn and one draw.

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