Bedwas RFC 26 Neath RFC 33
Specsavers WRU Championship, Saturday 22nd February 2020.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas indiscipline proved costly as Neath edged a close fought contest with both sides sharing eight tries.
With a strong, swirling wind at their backs Bedwas should have been first on the score board but a mix up saw the ball spilled and it was Neath who claimed the first points as the ball was fed through several pairs of hands to speedy winger James Roberts who crossed out wide. Luke Griffiths’ conversion attempt went wide.
Bedwas hit back almost immediately, Lewis Bowden broke through down the right, passing onto Matt Bancroft to James Richards who crossed for a try. Dion McIntosh added the extras.
Both sides cancelled each other out before Neath’s Luke Griffith’s added a penalty after Bedwas were penalised at a ruck.
Neath extended their lead after 39 minutes, quick ball from a line out creating a gap for scrum half Elis Horgan to race through for a try improved upon by Griffiths.
Bedwas were not finished as Dale Rogers broke through the visiting defence to run in from 30metres to score a try, McIntosh’s conversion seeing a solitary point between the sides at the half time break.
With the wind at their backs for the second half Neath used it to good effect as Griffiths knocked over a long range penalty to improve his side’s advantage with 53minutes played. Barely a minute later the lead stretched further as Griffiths scored his side’s third try of the afternoon as his kick through bamboozled the Bedwas defence. His conversion attempt sailed across the posts but his side had a nine point lead.
Bedwas replaced Matt Bancroft and Kelvyn Williams with Owain Keane and Rhys Hutcherson respectively after 57 minutes. Six minutes later a Bedwas catch and drive from the twenty five metre line could not be stopped and Dale Rogers emerged triumphantly from a pile of bodies to claim his second try of the day. McIntosh’s conversion kick went wide.
Bedwas replaced Jordan Rees and Tom Devine with Rhys Morgans and Luke Davies after 69 minutes and a minute later a break from Owain Keane was well supported by George Collins who crossed his side’s fourth try, McIntosh’s conversion putting Bedwas three points ahead.
The joy was short lived however as Jonathan Armitage was adjudged guilty of ‘killing the ball’ and despatched to the sin bin. Luke Griffiths took full advantage with another long range penalty.
Bedwas failed to gather the re-start allowing James Roberts to snatch his second try of the day again improved upon Griffiths to earn his side a bonus point. With the clock running down Griffiths attempted another long range penalty but this attempt fell short. This was, at least, good news for Bedwas as it meant a second bonus point was held onto for finishing within seven points.
The Bedwas Man of the Match award sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly was awarded to James Richards.
Next Saturday Bedwas host Trebanos RFC and all will be hoping to get back to winning ways.
Images from this game can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums