EBBW Vale secured a valuable win in their fight against relegation on Saturday, edging out RGC1404 in a dramatic game at Eugene Cross Park, writes Ian Golden.

With just five games to go for the Steelmen, it lifts them eight points above bottom side Bridgend Ravens, with a game in hand.

The first points of the game weren’t registered until 80 seconds before half-time.

RGC nearly took a fourth-minute lead following a kick and chase to the try-line, but eventually, no-one could latch onto Billy McBryde’s double grubber.

At the other end, Mike Powell was pulled back for a forward pass after he broke free for a potential try.

Soon after that, the wind didn’t help Rhys Jones as the Ebbw outside half sent a 40 metre penalty centimetres wide.

The visitors were close again on 25 minutes when McBryde kicked a high bomb, only for it to be mishandled by Delwyn Jones.

Rhys Jones kicked another penalty wide, while another RGC attack failed through good Ebbw defence, coupled with some slippery handling.

Finally, McBryde booted a 30 metre penalty to put RGC 3-0 up at the break.

It didn’t take long for the Steelmen to level as Jones was finally on target, kicking from 25 metres out, two minutes into the second half.

RGC regained the lead on 51 minutes. Jordan Scott scored the try via a rolling maul and McBryde converted.

Ebbw levelled again. They could have kicked what would have been an easy penalty, but instead went for the corner and the gamble paid off. From the resulting line-out, Lewis Young dived over. Jones converted but failed to land a penalty on the hour that would have put Ebbw ahead.

McBryde was sinbinned following a scuffle but Ebbw still found it tough to break through the North Walian defence. In the end, Jones had to revert to kicking a drop-goal to put Ebbw 13-10 up with ten minutes remaining.

But despite being a man down, RGC regained the lead. Danny Cross was sent over in the corner and, in McBryde’s absence, he successfully converted his own try from the touchline.

Ebbw refused to give up and got the winner with three minutes remaining when Dan Hill forced his way under the sticks, giving Jones an easy conversion.

Ebbw Vale: D Haymond, M Powell, R Evans, D Franchi, A Grabham, R Jones, M Flanagan, J Harries, J Franchi, D Whiting, D Hill, A Sweet, N Cudd, O Young, L Young. Replacements: L Garrett, E Evans, R Sevenoaks, H Harding, D Rubasniak, D Jones, E Phillips, P King.

Scorers: Tries: L Young, D Hill. Cons: R Jones (2). Pens: R Jones. Drop-goals: R Jones.

RGC1404: A Bagshaw, H Evans, T Hughes, D Cross, D Jones, B McBryde, N Butterworth, J Simpson, G Roberts, J Scott, B Jones, A Williams, S Williams, D Owen, J Jones. Replacements: R King, J Williams, R Roberts, O Crowe, T Grey, O Lennon, R Tudor, D Jones.

Scorers: Tries: J Scott, D Cross. Cons: B McBryde, D Cross. Pens: B McBryde

Star man: Rhys Jones (Ebbw Vale)