EBBW Vale’s campaign ended on a disappointing note, crashing to a 75-17 away defeat to a Cardiff side newly crowned as Welsh Cup champions and still with an outside chance of claiming the league title, writes Guto Davies.

Ebbw made early advances, with penalty decisions in their favour, one of which was kicked by outside half Rhys Jones. That was as good as it got for the visitors during the first period as a rampant Cardiff ran in six unanswered tries, all converted by fly-half Gareth Thompson.

The first came off a strong scrum. The ball was shipped out for No8 Aled Cockwell to cross, and with the home team gaining confidence, Edd Howley and Dan Fish, both strong runners on the counter, moved the ball wide for wing Matthew Powell to score next.

Although Ebbw enjoyed a period of pressure going into the second quarter, they had no answer to the home team’s dynamic play, strong in the set-pieces and menacing with ball in hand. Dan Fish took a quick tap penalty and cruised through for a try, before a snap counter up the narrow side allowed Cardiff to move the ball wide, Fish again going over.

The Blue and Blacks were by now an irresistible force, flanker Tom Daley crashing over and winger Howley capitalising on a penalty advantage to score and take his side into the interval 42-3 ahead.

The visitors needed a boost and got one soon after the turnaround, wing Stef Thomas touching down from a kick and rush attack, with Jones converting.

Cardiff still had the upper hand in the scrum, creating a scoring opportunity for centre Joe Gatt with Thompson again converting. The game was by now fast and loose, end to end with Ebbw next to score as Rhys Jones gathered a lucky bounce and drop-kick converted his own try. Cardiff struck back as Gareth Thompson forged a half break to send Matthew Powell over, then replacement Morgan Griffiths pounced for another try, converted by Steff Jones.

The second half was maintaining a high tempo despite some lengthy injury delays, with Cardiff showing up strongly in defence as well as attack, holding out through a period of concerted Ebbw pressure. The Blue and Blacks then resumed normal service, powerhouse No8 Cockwell crashing over for a second try and lock Macauley Cook rounded off the try-fest, both efforts converted by Steff Jones.

Cardiff: Dan Fish, Matthew Powell, Joe Gatt, Steffan Jones, Edd Howley (Morgan Griffiths), Gareth Thompson (Llywarch ap Myrddin), Martin Roberts (Aaron Bidgood), Brad Thyer (Thomas Davies), Joe Tomlinson, capt, (Ian Jenkins), Will Davies-King (Kieron Brown), Sam Pailor (James Murphy), Macauley Cook, Tom Daley, Zach O'Driscoll (Owen Jones), Aled Cockwell.

Tries: Aled Cockwell (2), Matthew Powell (2), Dan Fish (2), Tom Daley, Edd Howley, Joe Gatt, Morgan Griffiths, Macauley Cook. Cons: Gareth Thompson (7), Steffan Jones (3).

Ebbw Vale: Dan Haymond, Luke Shore, Paul King, Dai Langdon (James Lewis), Stefan Thomas, Rhys Jones, Dai Jones (Sam Ireland), Luke Garrett (Joel Harries), Rhys Francis (Joe Franchi), Rob Sevenoaks (Morgan Davies), Kristian Parker, Ashley Sweet, capt, (Lewis Young), Rhys Clarke (Cameron Regan), Lloyd Evans (Dawid Rubnasiak), Lewis Young (Lance Randall).

Tries: Stefan Thomas; Rhys Jones. Cons: Rhys Jones (2). Pen: Rhys Jones.