06 September 2018 / Club News


Saturday sees the Quins host their first ever Championship game with the visit of fellow Play-Off victors Ystrad Rhondda.

After watching an extremely powerful Brynmawr lift last season's WRU Plate with an impressive performance, few gave the Rhondda men a chance of success in the two-legged decider to see who would reach the Championship.

What did the rest of Wales know? Ystrad convincingly despatched the ‘Mawr’ to take up their place in Wales’ second tier of amateur rugby.

Like the Quins, the Gelligaled men have gradually ground their way up the leagues without too much fuss. Their ‘trail of honour’ commenced a little earlier than the Quins’. In 1994-95 when they were champions of Division 6 Central. At the same time the Quins were in Division 8 Central.

In 2004-05 they were crowned Division Two East Champions. A sign of maintaining a constant standard, it’s a title they won again in 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. 

It is somewhat surprising that there was no league success in 2014-2015, but it seemed Ystrad were something of a ‘cup’ team. Reaching the Glamorgan County Silver Ball finalists, but the icing on the cake was their commanding performance in winning the WRU Plate.

With 132 years of rugby heritage individual players of note to have hailed from the club include Wales and British Lions prop Mike Griffiths. A quality player of note but even he is eclipsed by Ystrad’s other former great. 

Willie Llewellyn was a wing of renown. Playing twenty times for Wales on the cusp of and into the early years of the twentieth century. Llewellyn also represented the British and Irish Lions, playing four tests in the tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1904. 

Llewellyn played for other clubs: Llwynypia, London Welsh, Newport, Penygraig and London Welsh and Cardiff. To look at this list now, one has been long since disbanded, while Ystrad have usurped two and with the way Welsh rugby is heading at the moment they may overtake a couple more!

That’s enough of history. Ystrad Rhondda have risen to become a leading Rhondda club just behind Pontypridd. That really is a tremendous feat.

Last week Ystrad entertained Pontypool at Gelligaled Park. They certainly put the defending Championship champions Pontypool to the test in an 18-29 loss. They most certainly gained a great deal of plaudits. The first half display from the Rhondda men in the eyes of many neutral and visiting supporters, was better than Pontypool’s efforts. It can be safely stated Ystrad Rhondda really are a ‘team’ who are always as mustard to show-off their talents and win.

Considering there are less than twenty miles between the clubs, they have never played each other previously. So a warm welcome is extended to oYstrad Rhondda on Saturday and a great game between the teams is anticipated, as they both strive to record their first win as Championship clubs.

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