BEDWAS RFC 12 MERTHYR RFC 23
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 11 November 2017
Match report by Howard Evans, photography by Jonathon North
Merthyr won a hard-fought struggle with a game Bedwas side who had defeated them earlier in the season.
It was always going to be Merthyr who won this one however, but Bedwas did well to level the try-count at 2-2 and keep Merthyr away from a winning bonus point.
Merthyr had the edge up front and the Bedwas back division were forced to live off scraps though they did score the best try of the game.
The Merthyr backs had better ball to play but the Bedwas centres Adam Williams and Mike Callow tackled splendidly to keep their opponents at bay.
It was a homecoming for five of the Merthyr players, who had previously worn the Bedwas jerseys and both Richard Powell and Phil Rees had captained the club.
Merthyr came strongly from the first kick-off denying Bedwas any sort of possessionbefore gaining the opening score after six minutes with a penalty try as they hammered at the home line.
Further pressure brought a Matthew Jarvis penalty and the full back's deadly boot brought a similar result five minutes before the interval at 13-0.
Three minutes into the second spell Bedwas lost wing Ross Wardle to a yellow card for an early tackle but despite that there came a magical Bedwas score.
Fly half Steffan Jones broke from his own half down the centre and when seemingly going to pass outside, he switched inside to the supporting No 8 Andrew Waite who raced over with Jones converting.
A video will no doubt see the ground that Waite must have run to be up there and still have to energy to score.
Bedwas glimpsed a comeback but another Jarvis penalty stopped that and after 54 minutes centre Kristian Phillips made a kick and chase try look simple and the reliable Jarvis converted.
At 23-7 down Bedwas still would not yield and to their great credit hard forward graft brought Waite another try just to far out for Jones to convert.
Both sides went hard for further scores but the last 12 minutes brought stalemate as the defences held firm and no further score resulted.
Dale McIntosh the Merthyr head coach commented: "This is always a tough ask to win at Bedwas. We know what a strong honest side they. To their credit they worked hard but we stayed in there and played some nice rugby even if we could not get four tries."
Bedwas head coach Ian Gardner said: "In our last three games we have made too many individual errors and not played well in key areas of the field. We are trying off-loads that are just not working and we need to win to give us momentum. But, I wont blame the loss of three good forwards who carry the ball well and this side can never be faulted for the effort they give."
Bedwas: Tries - A Waite 2. Con: S Jones.
Merthyr: Tries - K Phillips, pen try. Con: M Jarvis. Pens: M Jarvis 3.