Bedwas RFC 15 Pontypridd RFC 37
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 28th October 2017
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Just as one swallow does not make a summer one bad game does not make a bad team. After a three week break Bedwas failed to find the fluency and rhythm they are more than capable of. Combine this with handling errors and other mistakes and this become a game that never going to be won.
Bedwas started brightly as Pontypridd failed to cleanly take possession from the kick-off the resulting pressure yielding a penalty cleanly struck by Steffan Jones and with wind assistance put Bedwas three points ahead.
The joy was short-lived as the visitors’ regained possession and territory to gain a penalty under the posts which Diggy Bird successfully slotted.
With the Bedwas set piece not functioning Pontypridd took a scrum against the head and quick hands saw full back Lloyd Rowlands cross under the posts, Bird adding the conversion.
Bedwas’ attempts to fight back were thwarted by errors. Dropped passes and missed tackles confounded supporters and coaches. A counter attack from deep by Aaron Bramwell should have produced a try but Matthew John was unable to gather the potentially try scoring pass. At the other end Ponty were equally guilty of dropping the ball and the half ended with the visitors 10 points to 3 ahead.
Playing into the increasingly strengthening wind in the second half Bedwas knew that to salvage anything from the game they needed to be the first point’s scorers. That was not to be the case as Pontypridd outside half Diggy Bird notched a penalty to increase his side’s advantage.
This was extended when Alex Webber made a break through the midfield to set up the supporting Lloyd Rowlands for his second try of the day; Bird once again converting.
Bedwas responded with a well worked try close to the posts from centre Ross Wardle, Steff Jones’ conversion further reducing the deficit but this was increased straight from the restart after Bedwas conceded a penalty which Bird converted.
Bedwas made a raft of replacements to try and salvage something from the game and had some possession and territory but gained no rewards for their industry.
Pontypridd steamed back through their centre combination as Aled Summerhill exposed weak home defence to set up his partner Dafydd Lockyer to storm through; Bird’s conversion seemingly putting the game beyond Bedwas’ grasp.
Ponty weren’t finished. Backrower Rhys Shellard made break and the supporting Alex Webber had the simplest of tasks to dot the ball down for the bonus point clinching try, replacement Ceri Sweeney successfully added the conversion.
Bedwas fought to get something from the game and with the visitors reduced to 14 men as backrower Shane Lewis-Hughes was sin binned for a ruck offence took the opportunity to reduce the deficit as prop forward Chris Budgen barged through for a try. Despite Steffan Jones quickly taking the conversion attempt there wasn’t enough time left for Bedwas to claim any more points.
Despite this setback Bedwas remain top of the Eastern conference albeit on point’s difference. They will get an early opportunity to remedy the situation as they visit Rodney Parade, Newport on Friday 3rd November 2017, kick-off 7-15pm.