Pontypridd RFC 54 Bedwas RFC 17
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 15th December 2018.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
In front of the television cameras and with Pontypridd captain Dafydd Lockyer making his 350th appearance for the club Bedwas suffered an eight tries to defeat. However Bedwas restored some pride having played much better than the score line suggests and in terms of effort was a much better performance than the previous week at Swansea.
Incessant rain throughout the day made the Ponty artificial pitch a necessity and after a frenetic opening Bedwas had the first opportunity for points after Ponty were penalised at a scrum. Unfortunately Scrivens’ penalty kick drifted wide.
Ponty responded and came close to scoring but a Ponty player was held up over the try line resulting in a 5 metre scrum. There followed five reset scrums and on the sixth the referee calling in both teams’ front row players for a lecture. On the sixth reset scrum Bedwas tight head Chris Budgen was adjudged the guilty party and a penalty try awarded to Pontypridd and Budgen yellow carded.
Despite being a man short Bedwas responded well and a great break by Jonny Armitage earned a penalty as Ponty slowed down the ball. From the penalty line out the home side transgressed twice close to their line and this time home flanker Rhodri Jones was yellow carded, Scrivens successful with the ensuing penalty shot.
Bedwas continued to attack but despite a good break by Dale Rogers supported by Luke Crane Bedwas didn’t add to the point’s tally, similarly at the other end good scrambled defence by Bedwas repelled the threat of the home side.
With seconds left of Jones’ sinbinning Bedwas took the lead. A loose pass in midfield was pounced upon by Tom Hoppe and he sprinted clear to touch down close to the posts. Scrivens added the conversion to put Bedwas 10 points to 7 ahead.
Scrivens had a penalty chance a minute later but his attempt went wide but with less than 30 seconds of the half left Ponty capitalised on a loose ball in midfield and Webber’s hack through saw the ball loose on the goal line before Cameron Lewis pounced for a try. Lewis Williams added the conversion and his side led 14 points to 10 at the interval.
With the wind at their backs for the second half Ponty wasted no time in extending their lead with two tries from replacement hooker Liam Belcher, the first from a catch and drive and the second from open play. Both were converted by Lewis Williams and suddenly Ponty were 28 points to 10 to the good and a bonus point banked.
Bedwas battled hard to get back into the game Scrivens making a good break but Ponty were again clinical as a sweeping move put lock Chris Dicomidis in for a try in the corner, Lewis Williams again converting.
Bedwas enjoyed a spell of possession but although they came close to scoring no points were scored. Lady luck smiled on Ponty as a from a Bedwas attack Scrivens’ attempt to stab kick the ball through for Teear-Bourge rebounded into the hands of Dale Stuckey who won the sprint down the wing from deep in his own half to score; Williams missed the conversion.
Ponty looked to add to their score and Stuckey came close to a second try but Bedwas were penalised at the break down and Jonny Armitage despatched to the sin bin. The home side wasted little time in taking advantage of the additional man as Lewis Williams danced through the defence for a try he converted himself.
Alex Webber added a further try for Ponty with 11 minutes left again improved upon by Williams but Bedwas didn’t give in and following a penalty Tom Rowlands put Tom Hoppe in for a try with 8 minutes left. Scrivens added the conversion.
The Ponty defence kept Bedwas out for the rest of the game despite good effort from the Bedwas side.
Next Saturday Bedwas host high flying Merthyr in what is sure to be another hugely physical encounter closely followed by the visit of Ebbw Vale on Boxing Day in front of the BBC cameras.
Match gallery is at https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums