Lo­cal rugby

South Wales Echo - - SPORTS -

IT’S been an event­ful sea­son so far at Og­more Vale and the drama is likely to con­tinue for the fi­nal few weeks of the sea­son.

Back in May, the club were on a high af­ter earn­ing pro­mo­tion to Three West Cen­tral B, along with Alltwen, Cefn Cribbwr, Pon­trhy­dyfen and Rhi­gos.

But fast-for­ward 11 months and Og­more Vale are the only team from that group fight­ing for sur­vival.

The club oc­cupy one of the two spots in the rel­e­ga­tion zone, three points above bot­tom club Glyn­cor­rwg who they face on Thurs­day.

They are level on points with a resur­gent Cry­nant side, which has won three from the last four league games and has four games in hand while Glyn­cor­rwg have three.

Fix­ture sec­re­tary Gareth Cord ad­mit­ted he felt the club would go on to have a good sea­son but pointed to a drop in player num­bers as a rea­son for their poor form.

“We got pro­moted from C up to B and we thought we’d do well in it,” he said.

“We kept the squad through­out the sum­mer and at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son we were okay but they’ve dropped off to­wards the end.

“We had about three bad in­juries, we lost one to work and two boys to Maesteg – I can’t blame them as it’s higher level rugby.

“It’s more about los­ing play­ers to big­ger clubs, it’s the same for most clubs up the val­ley now, they strug­gle to get the play­ers in.

“Some weeks [we strug­gle], this Satur­day we had 15 boys and lost two of them dur­ing the game so we went down to 13 then.

“You get the same 12 reg­u­lars and other boys help out now and again. When we had a full side we beat Vardre, [who were] top of the league at the time.

“When we get our full side out we have got a good side, it’s just get­ting that full side out which is the real prob­lem.”

Og­more Vale have won just four of their 19 league fix­tures.

Along with suc­cess over Vardre (2417), they’ve also beaten Rhi­gos (2516), Glyn­cor­rwg (19-7) and Bryncethin (27-0) all at home.

But los­ing play­ers hasn’t been the club’s only worry. “We lost our coach. “He had a years ban from the touch­line so he said he can’t coach if he can’t get on the field so there was no point in him do­ing it,” Card added.

“He had a yel­low card pre­vi­ously so he had a warn­ing from the ref­eree.

“It wasn’t so much ar­gu­ing but what he called the ref and I think the WRU stamped over that quite heavy, which I agree with – he shouldn’t be call­ing the ref­eree names.

“It was in De­cem­ber, he stayed on for a cou­ple of weeks but he said he couldn’t do it.

“He wasn’t even al­lowed on the field, he had to stay be­hind the bar­ri­ers.

“One of the ex-play­ers, Gavin Beckey, is just help­ing out now, he’s been there a while.”

The next few weeks will de­ter­mine where Og­more Vale play their rugby next sea­son but the odds are against them to beat the drop.

Al­though Card isn’t too wor­ried if they do go back down.

“We’ll play the sea­son out and then we’ll have to re­group and try and get some­thing ready for the sum­mer,” he con­tin­ued.

“I think it’s prob­a­bly bet­ter for us if we do go down be­cause we are strug­gling a bit.

“It boosts the boys when they are win­ning.

“We al­ways start well at the start of the sea­son and if you’re win­ning the boys are more in­clined to stay at the club.”

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