Bedwas RFC 29 Newport RFC 7.
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 02 September 2017.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas maintained their 100% start to the season with a hard fought win over neighbours on a warm, sunny late summer afternoon.
Any latecomers would have missed the opening Bedwas score as following a catch and drive from a lineout hooker Ellis Shipp claimed a first minute try. Steffan Jones’ conversion attempt drifting wide. Luke Crane came close to adding to Bedwas’ tally but was denied by the visitors defence.
Newport attempted to get back into the game but the normally reliable Matt O’Brien saw two kickable penalties missed on 5 and 12 minutes and to add insult to injury Steffan Jones added one for Bedwas on 8 minutes.
Newport laid siege on the Bedwas line but got no change out of a resolute Bedwas defence who were in no mood to yield points. At the other end Bedwas came close to adding to their score but Newport denied them.
Steffan Jones’ penalty attempt half way through the half hit an upright and was cleared to touch before Newport’s pressure bought them a try via a huge forward effort and hooker Will Evans was adjudged as scorer under a pile of bodies. Matt O’Brien this time adding the extras.
Their joy was short-lived as from the restart Bedwas resumed attack and retook the lead. Robson Blake charged through from thirty metres leaving a trail of bodies behind him as none of the visiting defenders could stop the man mountain from crashing through. Steffan Jones added the conversion from in front of the posts.
More worryingly for Bedwas will have been the loss of Aaron Bramwell and Morgan Allen with injury before the half time although how serious these injuries are is not known at the time of writing. Their loss however was not costly in terms of points conceded as Newport were unable to add to their tally for the rest of the game.
The second half started with both sides looking for points; Bedwas to make the game safe and Newport to salvage something but both defences dug deep.
Bedwas increased their lead after 49 minutes as a deft Steffan Jones grubber kick was pounced upon by the quick thinking Mathew John for his sides’ third try.
Both sides made a number of replacements but defences were still largely on top.
Bedwas completed the scoring on 63 minutes. Another exquisite Steffan Jones grubber kick was pounced on by Adam Williams to earn his side a bonus point. Jones’ conversion quelled any thoughts of a Newport comeback.
Both sides continued to defend well and the game became a real arm wrestle as neither side wanting to concede points.
A second successive five point haul sees Bedwas as the early pacesetters in the Principality Premiership East division. Next Saturday will see the side travel to the Wern Sports Complex Merthyr Tydfil where the current Principality Premiership champions Merthyr await.
Steffan Jones’ efforts sees him become the first recipient of the Man of The Award sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly.