Bedwas RFC 57 Cross Keys RFC 34
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 21st April 2018.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
The stage was set; the Bedwas pitch looking in pristine condition and warm April sunshine, the perfect conditions for fast, running rugby. Few however, would have predicted the fourteen try festival served up by these two local rivals in what was the most entertaining game seen at the Bridgefield this season.
Bedwas started at a furious pace and Steffan Jones crossed for the first try as he ran in from 20 metres to open the scoring with only four minutes elapsed before putting the icing on the cake with a sweetly struck conversion.
Keys battled back and after sustained possession reduced the deficit via a Josh Prosser penalty goal after Bedwas were penalised at a ruck.
Bedwas hit back a fine run by Joe Scrivens was rewarded with a try again converted by Jones put them further ahead but Bedwas lost lock forward Gareth Allen to injury his place taken by debutant permit player from Cardiff Met Adam Dove.
Matthew Powell reduced the arrears crossing in the corner following a fine run but Prosser’s conversion kick fell short.
Bedwas increased their lead on the half hour. A Cross Keys line-out was adjudged not straight and from the ensuing scrum Tom Rowlands darted over for a try; Jones’ conversion hitting an upright before ricocheting between the posts.
Keys hit back straight away a fine jinking run by centre Barney Nightingale earned him a try, Prosser’s conversion reducing the arrears further.
It was Bedwas’ turn to hit straight back as Ryan Davies found time and space to sprint through for a try in the corner to bring up the four try bonus point. Jones kept up his 100% record from the kicking tee to increase the advantage before the whistle blew for half time.
Bedwas were quickly into their stride with the second half being barely two minutes old when Davies added his second try of the day, this time though the conversion drifted across the face of the posts.
Replacement flanker Joe Thomas reduced the arrears five minutes later with an unconverted try but the Bedwas response took barely two minutes as Steffan Jones glided through for a try but again an unsuccessful conversion kick.
Keys lost prop forward Scott Evans to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle after 53 minutes and Bedwas took immediately took advantage of the extra man as Mike Dacey emerged with the ball through a pile of bodies for his first try for the club; Jones refound his accuracy to add the extras.
With seven tries in the bank Bedwas made a number of changes and no further scores were notched until the 71st minute when Keys’ skipper Scott Matthews crossed to earn his side a bonus point with their fourth try of the afternoon, Prosser adding the conversion.
Bedwas full back Aaron Bramwell notched a try to take Bedwas to 50 points and with Scrivens’ adding the extras a 25 point advantage looked like it had sealed the deal before Keys’ Thomas’s second of the afternoon after 79 minutes converted by Prosser looked to be the final score of an entertaining game.
However Bedwas had other ideas as Davies claimed his hat-trick try with the last move of the game, Scrivens’ missed conversion mattered little as the whistle blew to end proceedings.
Bedwas have precious little time to reflect on their achievements as Bargoed visit the Bridgefield on Wednesday 25th April 2018, kick off 7-15pm.
Bedwas man of the match sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly was awarded to Number 8 Andrew Waite.