09 November 2016 / Club News


Nantyglo (from Welsh Nant-y-glo, meaning “brook of coal”) is a village in the ancient parish of Aberystruth and county of Monmouth situated deep within the South Wales Valleys between Blaina and Brynmawr in the county borough of Blaenau Gwent.

Nantyglo has close links with its twinned sister city of Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania and has a population of approx 4,635

Nantyglo Ironworks
During the middle of the 19th century, Nantyglo was one of the most important iron producing centres in the world. At their height c.1844 the Baileys employed 3,000 men and 500 women and children in their ironworks and coal mining operation.

Nantyglo RFC is a member club of the WRU and since the conception of regional rugby has been a feeder club for the Newport Gwent Dragons. Nantyglo’s main local rivals are Blaina and Brynmawr RFC.

The club’s most notable player is Tom Clapp, who in 1887 and 1888 captained the Welsh team on three occasions, including their first win over old rivals Scotland. Whereas most lower level clubs can only attribute their links to first class players before the individual was capped, Clapp played his first three matches as a full Welsh international while still turning out for Nantyglo.

For three seasons Nanty maintained a 3rd place finish in the old Division 4 East, as Gandiffaith, Gwernyfed and Llandaf claimed the league titles.

However instead of pushing on to gain promotion two seasons of finishing in 8th and 10th followed before the restructuring meaning a ‘drop’ in division to division 5 east.

The drop in division took the club a year to settle as they finished in 7th position but a glut of young players coming through the ranks contributed to a very successful following season with a league record of played 22, won 20 drew 2. The unbeaten season resulted in a league title finishing 9 points above nearest rivals Bettws.

2013 - 15
The feel good factor remained around the club for the entire 2013-14 season as Nanty secured back to back promotions with securing the Division 4 East title. Only 2 defeats in 22 games clinched the league finishing just 2 points above Abertysswg Falcons. The hat trick was completed in 2014-15 when Nanty swept away division 2 east and in the most dramatic fashion on the final day. Local rivals Brynmawr were Nanty’s main competition and a win against the Mawr in a closely fought contest secured the league title by just 3 points.

2015 – 16
Life in division 1 east proved much more of a challenge for a side used to winning titles. After a tough start Nanty battled to 5 wins from their 22 games and looked as if they would be relegated back to division 2. However with relegated Llanharan being placed in the East Central division, Nanty were guaranteed a place in 1 east for this season.

The season hasn’t started well with defeats in all seven of their games to date. Having said that, only against Penallta (62-3) and Nelson (57-5) have Nanty been truly outplayed. All five of the other defeats, to Caerleon, Brecon, Abertillary, Risca and Blaenavon have been by 12-15 points which are by no means a hammering. The points totals to date have seen Nanty score 59 and concede 237, while the try count stands at 6 tries for and 30 against.

Having not met many times in the past we did have two league fixtures last season. We visited Nantyglo in October 2015 where we had a tough time for the majority of the afternoon. The final score that day was Nantyglo 12 Rhydyfelin 22. The return fixture was postponed due to the poor weather; however the replay was played out on Wednesday April 27th at Hawthorn Rec. The Village run out winners by 38-12 on the night, forming part of our 100% finish to the season which secured a 3rd place finish.

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