05 December 2023 / Club News

Next Opponents Bonymaen...

Although not originally Bonymaen RFC, there has been a rugby team in the village since the 1870’s.Teams played under various titles, such as Jack Hathaways XV and the Jersey Excels, who were reputed to have played on a field (probably where the Community Centre is now). In those early years a great half-back partnership, the James Brothers Evan and Dai, left the village team to play for Swansea and were chosen to play for Wales in the early 1890’s. In the mid-1890’s they “went North” for a couple of years, then returned to Wales and were reinstated by the WRU, rejoining Swansea. They were once again capped for Wales in 1899. In 1919 Bryntawe RFC was formed and played on the Bonymaen field. A grand pavilion was installed, and water was carried from the tap in Cefn Road by bucket, boiled over a fire and poured into tin baths so that players could wash after a game. Bryntawe intended going places and under the able guidance of good Secretaries, the team were tops in Swansea, winning the District League Championship and Cup. This was when the legendary Chairman Arthur Powell started his career as a referee. The general strike of 1926 saw the end of this magnificent Bryntawe side. In 1928, a meeting was called in the cricket pavilion of the Dillwyn Cricket Club and Bonymaen Wanderers were formed. This club played as well as their predecessors Bryntawe, with able players such as Les (Bychan) Davies. He became the 1st Player from the now renamed Bonymaen RFC to win a Welsh Cap. At this time Ben Jenkins started an ex-schoolboys side which became the Bonymaen Athletic junior team. 1939 and WWII stopped rugby until1946 when the team was again reformed as Bonymaen RFC. First headquarters was the Jersey Arms, then the Bonymaen Inn, and for a few years the Bonymaen Community Centre on Cefn Road. In 1954, with the aid of Ivor Maddox, President, the fields of 7.5 acres were purchased freehold, and in 1959 Bonymaen were given WRU status. In December 1960, the new clubhouse, with all the facilities, was opened on the new fields to be known as Parc Mawr. Bonymaen were now running three teams -1sts, 2nds and Youth XVs. In 1971 they decided to run Schoolboy XVs at Under 13,14 and later at Under 15 level.

Bonymaen joined West Wales in 1978 as founder members of Section ‘E’. finishing Champions and promoted the season after into Section C, Ystalyfera and ‘Bony’ were promoted in 1981-82, both sides with the same 11 wins and 2 draws. In 1982-83 Bony were Champions and Ystalyfera were 5th, this time Bonymaen achieving the ‘double’. After a Fera Welsh Cup victory in 1984-85, the sides met in Section B again in 85-86 when Bonymaen were Champions again, both sides winning at home. Bony also won the West Wales Championship that year. Section B Champions again in 87-88 they were rewarded in 1990 with entry into the Heineken League Division Two. Fast progress and entry to Division One saw a First West Wales Cup win in 1999 over Dunvant - a fellow Division One side.  Bonymaen retained their Division One level of rugby for the next 16 years, Despite Ystalyfera knocking Bony out of the West Wales Cup Quarter-Final in 2000, they were Champions in 2005 and 2006. A West Wales Cup loss in 2006 was followed with a revenge win versus Cwmllynfell in 2011. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, Bonymaen were in the Championship, where the increased travelling and higher costs at that level proved difficult. Back in Division One, they were Champions in 2015 only to lose the play off, compensated with winning the West Wales Cup for the 3rd time versus Kidwelly 41-19. In 2016-17 Bony lost in the West Wales Cup Final to Trebanos, and in 2017-18 met Ystalyfera on four occasions, drawing in the League at Ynysydarren  17 all and the Fera winning 20-19 at Parc Mawr, a Fera Welsh Plate 3rd Round 8-5 victory and Fera West Wales Cup Semi-Final victory 16-13 at Morriston. The next season saw Bonymaen lose the Welsh Plate final to Brecon but finished Champions of Division One West Central in the 2019-20 first COVIT season. A Championship and West Wales Cup double in 2022-23 sees Bonymaen back in the Championship competing against most of the sides they have contested against in past finals….

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments