Merthyr RFC 19 Bedwas RFC 37
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 17th September 2016.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Three first half Bedwas tries laid the foundations for a superb Bedwas win on a warm, sunny afternoon on Merthyr RFC’s 3G pitch at the Wern Sports Park.
Both sides started at an express pace but it only took five minutes for Bedwas to take the lead as the ball was quickly moved left and Pat Lewis darted in to score by the corner flag. Richard Powell expertly converted to give Bedwas the lead which they held onto all afternoon.
Merthyr tried to get back into the game but handling errors cost them chances, Bedwas similarly made mistakes and try scoring opportunities were scarce. A Richard Powell penalty on twenty one minutes extended the Bedwas lead but Merthyr clawed a try back after twenty nine minutes when after a patient build up through several forward drives the ball was spun right for winger Kyle Evans to cross, Dean Gunter’s conversion attempt went wide.
Immediately Bedwas hit back. Pat Lewis intercepting a stray Merthyr pass and then sprinting down the line to cross for a try again converted by Powell and then prop forward Dan Preece found space on the left to cross unopposed for his sides’ third try. Powell again accurate with his kick and at half time Bedwas led 24 points to 5.
An early Powell penalty extended the Bedwas lead in the second half before Bedwas made several substitutions. Immediately Merthyr hit back with back rower Osian Davies crossing for a try, converted by Gunter.
A mistake in the Bedwas midfield was snaffled up by Arron Pinches who gratefully took the opportunity to cross, Gunter’s conversion narrowed the gap to eight points but Bedwas were not to be denied. A Richard Powell penalty put the gap back to eleven points to settle the nerves of the Bedwas fans and coaches.
Further replacements came on Bedwas as the game was held up for some time following an injury to James Benjamin who left the field on a stretcher (everyone at Bedwas RFC wishes James a speedy recovery).
Any thoughts Merthyr may have had to get back into the game were stifled five minutes after play resumed. Bedwas forwards worked hard to gain field position before centre Connor Edwards squeezed in at the corner for the bonus point winning fourth try. Powell again was accurate with his conversion to complete the scoring to earn Bedwas a deserved win following a fantastic effort by everyone in a Bedwas shirt.
With the win taking Bedwas to fourth in the Principality Welsh Premiership coaches and supporters will be hoping the team continues to build momentum next Saturday (24th September) when Neath RFC are the visitors to the Bridgefield (kick off 2-30pm).