Bedwas RFC 34 Rumney RFC 33.
WRU Admiral Championship East, Saturday 06 January 2024.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
For a neutral supporter this game had it all, eight tries shared between the two sides, three yellow and one red card and a last kick of the game conversion miss which saw Bedwas claim the spoils. For Bedwas supporters it was a huge relief to claim the win, for their Rumney counterparts’ huge disappointment at having come so close.
On a cold, dry January afternoon with both sides playing their first games for three weeks due to the Christmas break and adverse weather conditions Rumney took an early lead with a try from left winger Rory Pugh who won the race from his hacked through kick to cross in the left-hand corner. Outside half Jake Hillman added the conversion.
Five minutes later Hillman missed a penalty shot to increase his sides’ lead as Bedwas battled to get back into the game but were unable to turn possession into points.
Two yellow cards for Rumney on 22 and 24 minutes proved to be a difficult obstacle for the visitors. Lock forward Marvin Hutchings seeing yellow for a deliberate knock on, quickly followed by a yellow card for Alfy Johnson for pulling down a maul led to their downfall. Bedwas taking advantage of the depletion in numbers for Dale Rogers to dive over for a try, converted by James Dixon to level the scores.
Just as the first sinbinning was elapsed Bedwas took the lead. Jacob Wright taking advantage of the numeric advantage to cross for a try improved upon by Dixon.
Rumney hit back three minutes before the break as Alfy Johnson atoned for his yellow card by scoring a try in the left-hand corner. Hillman missed the conversion attempt and no further scores were forthcoming as the sides went in for the break with Bedwas holding a two-point advantage.
A James Dixon penalty goal two minutes after the restart put Bedwas five points ahead but Rumney were not about to lie down. A second try of the afternoon for Rory Pugh converted by Hillman put Rumney two points ahead before a second James Dixon penalty restored the Bedwas lead by a solitary point.
The Bedwas joy was short-lived as Hillman added a penalty barely a minute later after a Bedwas scrum offence to put his side two points to the good.
It got better for the visitors three minutes later as Bedwas were penalised for a high tackle and Hillman gratefully accepted the opportunity to increase his sides’ advantage.
With seven minutes to play Bedwas were adjudged to pull down a line out and once again Hillman hit the target to put his side eight points ahead.
Then came the pivotal moment. Bedwas attempts to hit back saw Alfy Johnson receive his second yellow card and therefore a red card for a ruck offence.
Bedwas were visibly lifted and took full advantage of their superior man count as Jacob Wright crossed for his second try of the afternoon, Dixon took the conversion quickly to close the gap to a single point in Rumney’s favour.
Then came the late drama. With probably 90 seconds to play a break down the Rumney left by new signing Llewelyn Brown set up the supporting Rhys Morgans for a try, converted by James Dixon and seemingly assure Bedwas of the win.
However, with the game all but over Rumney’s dominance in the scrum saw Bedwas concede one too many scrum penalties and Ioan Hill received a yellow card for the indiscretion.
There was still time for Rumney to profit from Bedwas’s indiscipline as following a line out Number 8 Rhodri Morgan squeezed over for a try. It all came down to the last kick of the game.
Unfortunately for him Jake Hillman was off target with his conversion kick which was followed by the final whistle and Bedwas claimed a bonus point win having scored four tries. A losing bonus point for finishing within seven points and four try bonus point at least gave Rumney something for their efforts.
Next Saturday (13 January) Bedwas make the short journey up the A469 to Penallta. Kick off at 2-30pm.
The Bedwas Man of the Match sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly was awarded to Jacob Wright.
Today’s match gallery is at Bedwas RFC’s albums | Flickr
Rob Hill’s images can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/123499803@N05/cH39Kypd6d