Having failed to field a team when due up at Trefecca Road in the league last week, New Tredegar did attend for this cup fixture. Many witnessing the afternoon’s events rather wish that the visitors had reneged again.

Gwernyfed 16 - New Tredegar 13

WRU Division 4 Cup

Report by Peter Weavers

Two Gwernyfed players sustained terrible injuries during the game. Within minutes of the kick off young hooker Bradley Haven got in a position to steal opposition ball at the ruck only to be cleared out himself, the robust challenge resulting in what appeared to be a shoulder break. After a lengthy stoppage Haven was off to hospital where the eventual diagnosis revealed major muscle damage rather than a fracture.

Worse was to come. Centre Dylan Skyrme, moving up from Youth to senior rugby, was involved in what looked like an innocuous challenge as a result of which the Talgarth student sustained the most terrible broken ankle. Excellent physio Danni Clarke stipulated that Dylan shouldn’t be moved and once he was comfortable the game continued on the adjacent pitch.

The ambulance paramedics arrived and decided that a doctor was called for. Wales Air Ambulance and a doctor arrived within minutes and after a lengthy period of treatment in the ambulance to stabilise the injury. Dylan went off to Hereford Hospital and was operated on the following morning. This incident underlined, if it needed underlining, the immense importance of the air ambulance service. Gwernyfed RFC makes regular contributions to the service and the scale the post-match collection in the clubhouse confirmed just how highly the service is rated.

As to the match, it was entirely forgettable. Tries by Kyle Davies and Will Lloyd and two Scott Pritchard penalties put the green, white and blacks through to the next round, but there were no celebrations on what was a depressing afternoon.

Much more positively, Gwernyfed Athletic travelled to the Heads of the Valleys for a hastily arranged game against Tredegar Ironsides. With only fifteen players, while the opposition squad stretched to thirty, it always looked a tall order for the young Athletic team, as appeared to be confirmed when the Irons scored two tries in the first five minutes to lead 12-0.

However, the Gwernyfed players went on to show great spirit and commitment both in attack and, even more so, in defence and half time was reached with a score of 19-7, following a further try apiece

The second half saw the home team bringing on a completely new set of players, with touchline anticipation that fresh legs might see the visitors wilt. This did not, however, prove to be the case and, in a closely fought 40 minutes, a single try by the home team produced a final scoreline of 26-7.

The match proved to be an excellent development step for the young Gwernyfed players, as the club seeks to build its player base in order to run two senior teams on a regular basis, both sides travelling south next weekend.