Narberth RFC 13 Bedwas RFC 20
WRU Admiral Championship, Saturday 18 February 2023.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas produced one of their best performances of the season to overcome a ten-point deficit and claim a well-deserved win at Narberth. Once again the entire team worked hard for each other on what was Bedwas skipper Dale Rogers’ 100th appearance for the club.
Narberth had use of a stiff breeze in the first half, but Bedwas started well and it was against the run of play that the home side took the lead after nine minutes. Scrum half Lewys Gibby exploited a gap in the Bedwas defence to cross for a try. Full back Nick Gale’s conversion went wide.
A few minutes later Bedwas had a chance to reduce arrears, but James Dixon’s 30 metre penalty drifted wide of the posts.
Bedwas continued to press but were frustrated on a few occasions when the driving maul was halted by the home defence.
Bedwas were dealt a blow when ever present this season Lewis Bowden suffered a knee injury after 33 minutes. Liam Jenkins came on in his place.
Four minutes before the break Narberth extended their lead courtesy of a second Lewys Gibby try after quick hands from number 8 Roy Osborne put him in space. Nick Gale was again unsuccessful with the conversion attempt.
Bedwas made a mistake from the restart but the hosts were unable to add to their score and the referee blew for the interval.
Without doubt the wind was to play a major part in the second half. With the wind at their backs for the second half Bedwas finally managed to put together a driving maul from a line out 20 metres from goal. The pack worked hard to drive Rhys Hutcherson over for a try, James Dixon’s conversion narrowed the home advantage to a slender three points.
Bedwas made changes halfway through the half with Ben Drew being replaced by Ryan Thomas, Callaghan Smith on for Jacob Wright.
Bedwas levelled the score after 22 minutes via a James Dixon penalty and shortly afterwards Rhys Jones took over from Will Fishlock.
Bedwas continued to use the elements to their advantage and although a James Dixon penalty was denied by an upright after 69 minutes he made no mistake from a similar position three minutes later to put Bedwas ahead for the first time in the game.
Narberth equalised three minutes later as a high tackle bought about a penalty which Nick Gale notched between the posts to tie the scores. In succeeding from the kick Gale achieved a personal landmark of 1000 points for his club-Congratulations to him.
Matthew Bovington replaced Harry Oliver with six minutes to play as Bedwas sought a winning score.
The home side looked like holding out but with one minute to play Aaron Billingham made a break and his pass to supporting full back Lloyd Wilkins saw him score in the corner. James Dixon successfully added the conversion from the close to the touchline.
Narberth refused to lay down but conceded a penalty just as the referee looked to call time on proceedings and James Dixon kicked the ball into touch to start the celebrations for the visitors.
Next week Bedwas host high flying Neath at the Bridgefield in an early kick-off (12-30pm) game ahead of the Wales v England Six Nations game at Cardiff. We will be showing the Six Nations game on the Clubhouse televisions, followed by a free disco (for over 18 year olds) in the big room.
Today’s match images are at: Bedwas RFC’s albums | Flickr