EBBW Vale fell to a disappointing defeat to Swansea in a closely fought encounter at Eugene Cross Park.

In the opening stages Duane Eager spilled a line-out forward and the Ebbw Vale backs looked to attack from inside their own half.

Jay Williams was penalised for a deliberate trip off the ball and was promptly yellow carded with Dai Langdon finding touch deep inside the Swansea twenty-two.

The home side continued their onslaught on the Whites’ line, though, and Ethan Phillips found a metre of space to stroll over for a try under the posts. Dan Haymond converted.

But the home side were unable to make the most of the reprieve and Chris Coleman was penalised for diving over the top of a ruck, gifting James Davies an easy three pointer.

Good work by Ashley Sweet set up another Ebbw attack and the visitors were caught offside in midfield. Haymond restored his side’s seven point advantage with a successful penalty goal.

Swansea began the second half in promising fashion and Rhys Williams was brought down on the twenty-two. The ball was recycled out to Josh Thomas who found Nathan Trowbridge, but the winger was unable to chase down his chip ahead.

Josh Thomas superbly took a high ball to set up another Whites attack and Gareth Rees injected pace into the backline, throwing a superb flip pass to Ryan Griffiths.

The Ebbw Vale defence was penalised for offside and Tom Ham opted to tap and go, sending Rees over for a try. James Davies converted.

Haymond made a break down the wing, but a wasteful chip through by Dai Jones gifted Swansea possession.

With the home side struggling to get out of their own territory Joe Franchi held on after the tackle. James Davies kicked his side into the lead with less than ten minutes remaining on the clock.

With time running out Haymond kicked to the corner with a penalty following a high tackle. Callum Reagan was brought down inside the twenty-two and Dom Franchi made good yards before Paul King was crowded out into touch with the last play of the game.

The victory moved Swansea 10 points clear of bottom-of-the-table Bridgend, while the losing bonus-point means the Steelmen are now six points clear of the automatic relegation spot.

But they will have to improve over the next week as they prepare to host Bridgend in what will be the most vital game of the first-half of the season for both clubs.

Scorers: Ebbw Vale: Tries: E Phillips. Cons: D Haymond. Pens: D Haymond. Swansea: Tries: G Rees. Cons: J Davies. Pens: J Davies (2).

Ebbw Vale: D Haymond; P King, D Franchi, E Phillips, D Thomas; D Langdon, M Flanagan; R Jones, J Franchi, C Coleman, D Hill, A Sweet, R Francis, B Fry, L Young Reps: D Whiting, L Garrett, W Griffiths, M Ayling, D Rubasniak, D Jones, L Williams, C Reagan.

Swansea: J Thomas; R Griffiths, G Rees, R Williams, N Trowbridge; J Davies, M Aubrey; T Sloane, O Thomas, G Cunniffe, S O’Rourke, J Williams, D Eager, C Bowden, J Fox Reps: S Howard, R Davies, D Howells, M Dodd, G Volpi, W Jones, T Ham, C Carson.

Ebbw Vale Star Man: Ethan Phillips