Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 RFC 27 Bedwas RFC 21
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 14th April 2018>
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
An Adam Williams try with 10 minutes left to play earned Bedwas a deserved losing point at a dry Parc Eirias.
Bedwas started well and got the first try of the afternoon after 5 minutes. After earning a penalty from a scrum the ensuing attack saw Luke Crane setting up Bryn Toms’ whose cut out pass to James Richards was gratefully snapped for a try in the corner. Steffan Jones confidently bisecting the post with his conversion kick.
Bedwas forward dominance continued to reap rewards as several times the home scrummage were shoved backwards but when their incisive backs had the ball they presented a threat which Bedwas defended well to keep in check.
RGC outside half Jacob Botica had a chance to pull back 3 points after a Bedwas ruck offence but his kick went wide but two minutes later the home side crossed for a try as quick hands put right winger Afon Bagshaw in for a try. Botica made no mistake with his conversion to level the scores.
The home side looked to up the pressure and came close to a try from fullback Dion Jones before Bedwas stole possession to relieve the pressure.
Just before half time a break by Steffan Jones saw the ball offloaded to Matthew John whom gathered his own chip kick through before being hauled down. Luke Crane was quickly on hand to keep the move alive and quickly moved the ball onto skipper Alun Rees to cross out wide. Jones again adding the extras to put Bedwas 14-7 ahead at the interval.
Bedwas replaced the injured Geraint Edmunds with Ben Thompson at the start of the second half but the game turned with the replacement of both of the home sides prop forwards.
This paid almost immediate dividends as the home side gained the upper hand in the tight and from the first scrum of the second half Bedwas were penalised. A quick tap penalty found the visiting defence napping and after the ball went through several pairs of hands left wing Rhys Williams crossed for a try improved upon by Botica to level the scores.
RGC earned another scrum penalty after 53 minutes and Botica took his opportunity to put his side for the first time in the contest. Again the home side began turn the screw and looking to increase their advantage. Home supporters thought they’d bagged a try but the referee ruled it out for a forward pass but three minutes later a Bedwas high tackle in front of the posts gave Botica the chance to increase his sides lead.
Unfortunately the Bedwas restart went out on the full and from the restart scrum on the half way line Tiann Loots made an incisive break to set up Tom Hughes for a try. Botica’s conversion put his side 27 points to 14 ahead.
To their credit Bedwas their heads did not drop and with 10 minutes left to play Adam Williams beautifully side stepped past an RGC defender before sprinting through from 40 metres out. Jones kept up his 100% record from the kicking tee to see the deficit to 6 points.
Both sides fought hard to keep what they had earned and good defence by both saw the game finish with Bedwas earning the deserved losing bonus point.
Next week (21st April) Bedwas host neighbours Cross Keys RFC in what is the last Saturday home game of the season before Bargoed come to the Bridgefield on Wednesday 25th April (kick off 7-15pm).