Bedwas RFC 49 Llandovery RFC 17
Principality Premiership, Saturday 08 April 2017.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas put Llandovery to the sword notching eight tries to claim a bonus point win and move to second place in the Tier 1 table and with two games remaining are on the brink of assuring the top four finish they deserve.
On a sunny, wind-free April afternoon Bedwas opened the scoring after three minutes after a high tackle on Connor Edwards, Richard Powell successfully kicking the penalty. The Bedwas forwards set their stall out early and dominated their visiting counterparts in the scrum which set up a second Powell penalty goal as the visiting scrum was demolished.
Llandovery attempted to get back in the game but former Bedwas fly half Jack Maynard was unsuccessful with two long range penalty attempts. His side didn’t lie down however and scored the day’s first try of the day when their dangerous runners opened up a gap in the Bedwas defence and left wing Aaron Warren ran through to dot down just right of the posts. Maynard had no problem adding the extras.
Bedwas hit back and looked to control possession. With the home forwards again dominant the visiting forwards were struggling to contain the Bedwas scrum and referee Rhys Thomas was unsympathetic as a scrum collapsed and immediately awarded a penalty try. Powell converted.
The home side looked to turn the screw but their good work was often undone by losing possession of the ball but they stuck to their task. Just before the half hour mark a clearance kick out of the Bedwas half looked harmless enough. Rory Budina had other ideas and turned the gas on to sprint after the ball causing the visiting defender to spill the ball which Budina picked up and touched down. Powell’s conversion from out wide was unsuccessful.
Nathan Hudd’s sinbinning for a high tackle shortly could have proved more costly but the remaining Bedwas fourteen dug deep and no more points were conceded.
The second half started as the first had ended with Llandovery scoring the first try by centre Craig Woodall after forwards and backs cleverly moved the ball across the pitch and created space for the try scorer. Maynard’s conversion reduced the Bedwas lead to four points.
Almost immediately Bedwas struck back, Alun Rees’ clever off load set up James Thomas to crash through the visiting defence for a try improved upon by Powell.
Thomas then turned from hero to villain as he was sinbinned for retaliation after being on the receiving end of a Llandovery punch. Maynard made no mistake with the penalty and the Bedwas lead was again reduced. Llandovery sensed an opportunity and thought they’d scored a third try only for the referee to chalk it off for a forward pass following the intervention of one his assistants.
With fresh legs for Bedwas introduced around the hour mark the home side clicked into gear. Matthew John extended the home lead following a barnstorming run and with it Bedwas earned a bonus point. Powell was unable to add the conversion.
Late in the game veteran prop forward Chris Budgen came on for Matthew Pettit. Budgen proved that age is no barrier and at 44years young scored two tries in two minutes as he was driven over by his colleagues, Powell converting the first to dispel any thoughts the visitors may have harboured that they could salvage something from the game.
Bedwas were not finished as late in the game second row Joe Davies’ rampaging run saw him bulldoze through the visiting defence for his sides’ eighth try of the afternoon. Powell’s conversion completed the scoring as the referee blew for time.
Bedwas now have a three week wait before their next (and last home fixture of the season) game as Pontypridd visit on Saturday 29th April, kick off 2-30pm.