Aberavon RFC 24 Bedwas RFC 19.
Principality Welsh Premiership, Friday 30th March 2018.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas victories at the Talbot Athletic Ground are as rare as hen’s teeth and this game was no different as an evenly fought game saw the home side prevail, ultimately the only difference between the sides being a penalty try awarded to the home side.
It was a cold, wet early Good Friday afternoon as Bedwas got off to a flying start. After gaining a penalty deep in the Aberavon half quick thinking by Mike Hathaway who took a quick penalty and fired out a low pass to Adam Williams on the left wing. Williams reacted quicker than the home defence to squeeze in at the corner. Joseph Scrivens accurately added the conversion and Bedwas were seven points to the good after only three minutes.
Aberavon answered with two tries in five minutes from scrum half Iwan Temblett and prop forward Alex Jefferies both converted by James Garland put Aberavon ahead.
Both sides tried to increase their leads but defences held out and no further scores came until the 32nd minute as Bedwas crossed again in similar fashion to the first try, this time Dan Preece crossing in the opposite corner. Scrivens did well to again add the extras and the scores were tied.
A James Garland penalty goal four minutes later restored his sides’ lead but the game became a wrestle with neither side looking like adding to their score.
The game came to life four minutes after the interval. An Aberavon driving maul was deemed by the referee to be illegally stopped by Bedwas and a penalty try was awarded. Captain James Richards’ yellow card added to Bedwas woes as he was judged the guilty party.
However the remaining 14 Bedwas men dug in and aided by a couple of pairs of fresh legs repelled the home attack preventing any scores whilst Richards was taking his enforced rest.
Once parity was restored no time was wasted as Bedwas immediately reduced the deficit as Adam Williams grabbed his second of the game in the left hand corner. Scrivens this time missing his conversion attempt.
Bedwas made a host of changes but a resolute Aberavon defence was not looking like creaking. There was a chance of closing the gap but Scrivens’ penalty shot fell just short.
The game produced little of note for the remaining 13 minutes as both sides seemed to settle for the result; the losing bonus point Bedwas gained was at least some reward for their efforts.
The Easter madness continues on Easter Monday as Bedwas host neighbours Bargoed (kick-off 2-30pm) quickly followed by another home fixture on Saturday 7th April when Cardiff arrive at the Bridgefield.