12:31pm Tuesday 13th May 2014
Division 5 South West
Birchgrove 12 Ystradgynlais 18
YSTRADGYNLAIS captured the Swalec Division 5 South West title through a nail-biting away win against league runners-up Birchgrove RFC before extending their winning run with a 42-5 away win at Crynant RFC on Saturday.
The Swansea Valley side captured the league title after the welcome return of former Ystradgynlais, Scarlets and Wales lock Vernon Cooper as Head Coach.
The Blues, now celebrating their first league title since 1995, carried off the crown by five points, winning all but two of the league games that they’ve played this season.
It’s also been a successful season for the youth side who have also won their league – the first time in the history of the club for both the youth and senior teams to have clinched their respective league titles.
With 95 per cent of the first team squad having come through the youth system at Ystradgynlais, Head Coach Cooper has every reason to believe the future’s looking bright.
“The whole squad has been outstanding this season," said the former Wales international. "The highlights for me have been the way we have dug in and won tough away games that we wouldn’t have won in the past.”
“We’ve got plenty of confidence looking towards next season and it is key for us that we keep hold of the quality players coming through from our youth team.
"If we do that and build on our success then hopefully the future is bright.”
Ystradgynlais captain Emyr Lawrence, said: “It means the world for us to win the league. The boys have put the effort in all season and it has paid dividends for us.
"Vernon Cooper has made a big difference this season plus the effort and commitment of the players has changed. The whole squad has been outstanding.”
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