Ebbw Vale RFC 33 Bedwas RFC 17
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 23rd December 2017
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
With this match being a ‘dead rubber’ (Bedwas would finish 3rd in the East conference whatever the result) Head Coach Ian Gardner opted to try some different combinations. Whilst the result is disappointing for the Bedwas faithful it should not detract from a splendid performance at Outside Half by the home sides’ Dorian Jones who had an excellent afternoon at the office.
The match started at a frantic pace with some big collisions as the forwards ripped in to each other. However it was home side who secured the first points of the day as Dai Langdon reacted quickest to Dorian Jones’ pinpoint grubber kick to grab a try. Jones added the extras to extend his sides advantage.
Ebbw dominated possession at this stage and stifled everything Bedwas could muster and it was no surprise when full back Dan Haymond crossed again converted by Jones.
Bedwas lost lock forward Ben Thompson to injury after 18 minutes but five minutes later pack power saw hooker Dale Rogers driven over for a try, Steffan Jones adding the extras.
Dorian Jones added two penalties and Steffan Jones notched one penalty either side of Bedwas suffering another injury blow as Oli Halford limped off to be replaced by Adam Williams.
It didn’t take Williams long to make his mark as a loose ball in midfield was hacked through and Williams gathered to dive in for a try, Steffan Jones added the extras to reduce the arrears to three points.
The joy was short-lived as Dorian Jones came up with another deft kick and again Langdon was the grateful recipient and claimed the five points. Jones added the conversion on the half time whistle to put his side ten points to the good.
Bedwas lost Nicky Griffiths to injury early in the half with Tom Rowlands taking over at scrum half. Ebbw Vale’s defence was able to counter everything Bedwas could muster although the scrummaging of the Bedwas pack was holding its own with eighteen year old loose head Tom Devine performing well.
The entire Bedwas front row was replaced after 52 minutes and three minutes after fresh legs in the back row as Waite took over from McGuigan. Dorian Jones notched two penalties to seemingly put the game out of Bedwas’ reach but Bedwas responded with sustained pressure on the home line but could not conjure up anything to break the home defence.
Going into the final ten minutes Bedwas threw everything at the home line but with the home side determined to hold on to their lead defended heroically to repel Bedwas by hook or by crook. Drama followed as the home sides’ Rhys Francis, Dorian Jones and Lance Randall all found themselves in the sin bin in the last 10 minutes but the remaining 12 were in no mood to concede a single point and Bedwas came away with nothing.
Next Saturday sees the East and West conferences combine and first up for Bedwas is a trip to Sardis Road Pontypridd, kick off at 2-30pm.