Ystrad Rhondda RFC 15 Bedwas RFC 12
WRU Championship Cup, Saturday 28 January 2023.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
A last minute converted try for Ystrad Rhondda stole the plaudits for the home side and condemned Bedwas to defeat; the only time in the entire game that the home side had been in front.
Once again the game against Ystrad Rhondda did not get off to the start the Bedwas faithful had hoped for. This time second row Harry Oliver twisted an ankle in the warm up and was replaced by Jordan Hole from the bench.
Nevertheless Stefan Sankala’s men took on board the instructions Sankala requested in his pre-match address and dominated the first half.
Although the scoreboard shows the half time lead to be only six points to nil in Bedwas’ favour courtesy of two James Dixon penalties in truth Bedwas were in command. Dixon missed a further penalty towards the end of the half before the home side were reduced to fourteen men just before the half time whistle with Jarrad Llewellyn trudging off for dissent and a ten minute break.
The first score of the second half would prove to be decisive and it was the home side who claimed it as replacement hooker Corben Evans crashed over out wide to the left of the posts. Rhys Truelove’s conversion attempt missed the target.
Defences were on top for the opening twenty minutes of the half before James Dixon added a third penalty to stretch the Bedwas advantage to four points.
Jacob Symes reduced the arrears once again to a solitary point courtesy of a 66th minute penalty only for James Dixon to restore Bedwas’ four-point cushion a few minutes later.
Bedwas bought on fresh legs in the shape with Rhys Jones and Sam Davies replacing Rhys Morgans and Jack Guy respectively and Dewi Thomas replacing Will Fishlock.
Bedwas looked to be holding out for the win but a penalty to Ystrad in the final few minutes set up a driving maul and with Bedwas defending for their lives Mike Dacey was adjudged guilty of a deliberate knock-on and was duly despatched for ten minutes in the sin-bin.
With the clock running the home pack sensed victory and with practically the last play of the game replacement prop Kai Carnell was driven over for a try improved upon by Jacob Symes to spark excited celebrations from the home players and supporters.
Congratulations to Ystrad Rhondda on reaching the next round of the cup to be played on Saturday 25 March versus Cross Keys RFC at a venue to be confirmed.
Bedwas have little time to drown their sorrows as the side heads to Trebanos RFC on Thursday 2nd February in a rearranged WRU Admiral Championship fixture, kick-off 7-15pm.
It has to be said that this was a much-improved performance by the Bedwas side from the previous meeting of these two sides at Ystrad three weeks ago.
Match gallery is at: Bedwas RFC’s albums | Flickr