Chepstow Druids 17 Bedwas Barbarians 45
Dragons Athletic League Cup Final, Saturday 20 May 2023.
Match report by Tyler Pesci-Griffiths, Images courtesy of Angela Brideaux.
The Bedwas Barbarians travelled to Caldicot RFC for their penultimate game of the season, the Dragons Athletic League Cup Final versus Chepstow Druids.
On what was a scorcher of a day, the boys were determined to add the league cup to their trophy cabinet after already securing the league title.
The Bedwas side started sharply, taking no more than 5 minutes to test the Chepstow defence, finding wing Tyler Pesci-Griffiths getting put into touch just short of the try line.
However shortly after, the opening try of the afternoon cans, courtesy of Tristan Kugler in the right-hand corner. Tyler Picton just narrowly edging the conversion wide. (5-0)
A second try was swiftly added, as Alex Kawulok set off at pace, breaking through the Chepstow line, and winning a 1v1 with the full back to claim the points. Picton added the extras.
As confidence started to build within the Barbarian’s side, the ball did not see much of the Bedwas half, as the boys kept pushing in attack, resulting in Jack Stingemore crossing after showing his pace, for the third try. This time Picton being successful with the extras.
After regathering behind the sticks, Chepstow started to bounce back, and took advantage of a momentary lapse in Bedwas discipline as Ryan Butcher found himself having an involuntary 10-minute rest.
Chepstow found themselves on the score sheet not long after with a converted try.
After a fairly contested 10 minutes, Bedwas welcomed Butcher back to the field, with the half time whistle edging closer. A final push of the first half from the Barbarians found space for Harvey Stroud, who scored beneath the sticks to extend the lead. Again, Picton found the target to add the extras.
After an exciting and dominant first half performance, the boys set out for the final forty with the victory within sight, however knowing they had to work for it.
Chepstow came out very physical in attack, and the Bedwas side had to take their turn in defending, though with big efforts from the pack, the turnover was won, and the ball cleared.
Soon after, replacement fullback, Kyle Jackson found Jack Stingemore out wide, who darted in for his second of the day. Picton converted.
As the boys got closer to lifting the trophies, they did not take their foot off the gas, as backs coach Liam Lintern made some changes to his back line, and Dean Picton bought on his pack reinforcements, the fresh legs gave Bedwas a boost to add to their tally.
They found themselves again in the Chepstow half, scrum half Morgan Jones made a break on the blind side of the scrum, putting Tyler Pesci through unopposed, however the pass being blown as forward meant that the boys had to wait for another opportunity to extend their lead.
The Bedwas pack, instantly won back possession with a strong scrummage, with quick ball finding its way to the backs. After two phases, Tyler Picton found flanker Logan Hughes who ran a sharp line to find himself leaving the defence standing as he dabbed down under the sticks. Picton added the extras.
The Barbarians were not finished, a turnover ball not long after the restart, found the pack making some strong carries and pushing the boys up field.
Outside Half Joshua Jennings, spotted a gap out wide, and put a pinpoint grubber kick through for replacement wing Will Jones to beat his man and touch down to add the final try for the Bedwas side. The conversion just went wide.
As the final 15 minutes came, Chepstow did not give in, managing to find a gap in the Bedwas defence, and touching down in the right-hand corner, the conversion was missed. In a game that was played to the final whistle, Chepstow did find themselves scoring one final try because of a couple of errors in the Bedwas defensive line late on. Again, the conversion was missed.
The full-time whistle was welcomed with huge cheers from the travelling Bedwas support and celebrations from the entire squad as the double was claimed.
Full credit to Chepstow, who stuck at it for the whole game, and were great sports on and off the field. All the best for next season from us all.
MOTM – Joshua Jennings
The Barbarians final game of the season is on Wednesday 24th May vs Newbridge 1stXV in the Ben Francis Cup Final, KO 19:15 at Blackwood RFC.