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Bonymaen ‘over the moon’ with league and cup double


Bonymaen celebrate winning the Admiral National League 1 West Central division

It’s been a season to remember for the club where it all began for Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones.

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Bonymaen RFC have completed a notable league and cup double – claiming the Division 1 West Central title and winning the West Wales Rugby Union Cup.

So, as their most famous son, Alun Wyn, heads into international retirement, his former club is heading up to the Championship.

Chairman Richard Scannell said: “We are over the moon really, in fairness.

“We were going well pre-Covid. We were top of the league when the hard stop came in and we were sort of robbed of winning the league that year.

“But that was something that couldn’t be avoided. We came back after Covid and our senior numbers had never been so great. There was a real boom.

“We have managed to get two teams out playing rugby regularly this season.”

The north east Swansea club have lost just two of their 22 league matches this term and finished 13 points clear of second-placed Dunvant at the top of the table.
They rounded off a triumphant campaign by beating Ammanford 42-12 in the West Wales Rugby Union Cup final at Loughor RFC earlier this week.

“The coaching staff have done an excellent job for us,” said Scannell.

“They are all 100 per cent volunteers and put in an incredible anount of time and so do the players.

“It’s just great to see them get the rewards. It’s been a long time coming, but really good to see the club going so well.

“Three years ago, we got our youth team back and we’ve now got that feeding into the senior set-up, while we have got minis and junior teams from U7s up.”

As for how they see themselves faring in the west division of the new-look Championship, Scannell said: “We are fully aware there are a lot of semi-professional teams there whereas we are 100 per cent amateur.


The champagne is popping as Bonymaen celebrate

“I hope having a strong second team set-up will stand us in good stead for having strength in depth to compete.

“We are fully reliant on the junior section and the players we produce. I would say 90 per cent of our first team played their junior or youth team rugby here. “Hopefully, the conveyor belt will keep on producing players.

“It’s a bit unique up here. The boys thrive on the fact that they play against a lot of teams that spend a little bit of money on players and they are able to be successful against them.

“It’s one of those clubs where once you join, once you come onboard, it’s difficult to get out of the front door.”

As for Alun Wyn, Bonymaen are understandably very proud of their former player, while their connection with the Wales and Lions lock has certainly raised the profile of the club.

“He’s always been a great player, but what he’s gone on to achieve late in his career with the Lions captaincy and a record number of caps has been outstanding,” said Scannell.

Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones keeping a close eye on the youngsters at Bonymaen RFC

“Him being associated with Bonymaen has brought us a lot of media coverage. Seeing in interviews what he thinks of the club and what it has brought to his career, it has seen a massive spike in interest from junior players. He is an idol for many of them. It’s had a real positive effect, in all fairness.

“When we got to the WRU Plate final in 2019, Alun Wyn came up and did a bit of media work here. He spent a bit of time coaching with the boys. It’s been really good for us over the last five or six years.”

Bonymaen, who have produced further Welsh internationals in Malcolm Dacey, Richard Webster and Rory Thornton, have commemorated their success this season in an eye-catching fashion.

“We have marked the pitch and written League Winners 2023 on it,” explained Scannell. “We have coloured it in with our line markings, we hand-sprayed it. Standing on the terrace you can see it, so that’s a nice sight!”

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