Bedwas RFC 42 Cross Keys RFC 24
WRU Admiral Championship, Saturday 15th April 2023.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Two Bedwas tries in the last ten minutes saw off a Keys side who stayed in the contest before finally self-destructing.
On a warm, dry, sunny spring afternoon Bedwas were straight onto the front foot as full back Lloyd Wilkins made a break with three minutes played. Unfortunately, Wilkins injured himself in the process and hobbled off to be replaced by Jack Guy.
Bedwas had to shuffle the backs around and Guy went on the right wing and Liam Jenkins to full back.
Bedwas took the lead after thirteen minutes courtesy of a Jack Guy improved upon by James Dixon. Guy looked to have scored a second try shortly afterwards, but the referee ruled Dixon’s one-handed basketball style pass was forward and the score was chalked off.
Keys responded with some sustained pressure and were rewarded with a try by back rower Will Gregory, Adam Tetley adding the conversion.
Keys’ Harvey Reader was yellow carded for not retreating ten metres as Bedwas took a quick tap penalty. From the ensuing lineout the Bedwas pack fully utilised their additional man to drive Mike Dacey over for a try; James Dixon’s conversion went wide.
Dacey repeated the feat three minutes later this time Dixon converted to put Bedwas further ahead.
Harry Oliver was sinbinned for failing to allow Keys quick possession from a Tom Lampard break before deep into stoppage time a Keys attack was adjudged to have been illegally stopped by a Bedwas defender and a penalty try was awarded. Crucially and surprisingly no Bedwas player picked out as the culprit and no sinbinning followed.
The half time whistle followed shortly afterwards with Bedwas leading twenty-one points to fourteen.
Within three minutes of the start of the half Bedwas went down to thirteen men as Rhys Hutcherson was sent to the sinbin for throwing a few punches.
Keys took advantage almost immediately as left-wing Tom Davies found the space for a try converted by Tetley to put his side ahead for the first time in the game.
Bedwas responded with a James Dixon penalty to restore their lead, but Tetley landed another successful penalty kick to put his side two points ahead, before Dixon again landed a penalty shot and Bedwas were a point ahead.
At this stage there looked no clear winner, but Bedwas finally found a way to increase their lead as Jonathan Armitage spotted a gap in the visiting defence to crash through for a try, Dixon’s conversion opening up an eight-point advantage.
Jacob Wright crossed for a try after a break from deep only for it to be ruled out for a foot into touch but a few minutes later Bedwas put the result beyond date as Aaron Billingham raced through for a try converted by Dixon.
Cross Keys were reduced to fourteen men shortly before the final whistle as Connah Vaughan was sin-binned for an off the ball incident. James Dixon landed the penalty, and the referee blew for full time.
Bedwas are next in action at Bargoed RFC on Tuesday 25 April, kick-off at 7-15pm.
Bedwas Man of the Match sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly was awarded to Mike Dacey.
Bedwas RFC would like to thank our former players who kindly sponsored this game.
Images from today’s game are at https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums