Bedwas RFC 32 Cross Keys RFC 24
Principality Welsh Premiership, Friday 24th November 2017.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
A strong second half featuring two tries from Number 8 Andrew Waite paved the way for a Bedwas victory on a cold November evening at the Bridgefield.
Bedwas dominated territory and possession for the first ten minutes but could not turn that advantage into points as the Keys defence kept them at bay. Against the run of play Keys took the lead after 10 minutes; a loose ball was hacked through from the Bedwas 22 yard line before finding its way to Josh Skinner who crashed through for a try. Josh Prosser having no difficulty adding the conversion.
Bedwas reduced the arrears two minutes later thanks to a Steffan Jones penalty but were reduced to 14 men after 17 minutes after Mathew John was given a yellow card for a tackle in the air.
Keys wasted little time to take advantage of the extra man as the space opened up for Leon Andrews to cross, again converted by Prosser.
Jones and Prosser exchanged penalties as Keys were then reduced to 14 men following Josh Skinner’s sinbinning for a deliberate knock on. Bedwas struck back just before the interval as following a scrum the ball was moved quickly right for Adam Williams to squeeze in at the corner. Steffan Jones’ conversion attempt drifted across the posts but he found his range two minutes with his third penalty of the half to see Keys leading by three points at the break.
With the night becoming colder Bedwas spirits were hugely lifted as following a catch and drive move from a line out Andrew Waite broke off the back of the maul to dive in for a try. Jones was unsuccessful with his conversion but eight minutes later the same combination resulted in a Waite try this time converted by Jones.
With the referee’s intervention becoming a frequent feature Jones added a further penalty just past the hour mark before Keys captain Scott Matthews pulled a try back for his side; Prosser’s conversion reducing Bedwas’ lead to five points.
Bedwas were determined to hold on to what they had earned and dug deep to keep out Keys who were equally determined to take the spoils but got no change from a resolute defence.
With six minutes remaining Jones slotted his fifth penalty of the evening to stretch the Bedwas lead to eight points but still had work to do as Keys fought to get at least a losing bonus point.
With the clock running down four successive Keys penalties and a sin binned Craig Hudd for allegedly entering a ruck from the side saw Keys close in on the Bedwas line before losing possession of the ball allowing the home faithful to celebrate a hard fought win.
Bedwas are next in action at Cardiff RFC on Friday 1st December 2017, kick off the Arms Park is at 7-15pm.