Relegation or survival in the balance but morale boosting win gives hope

Aberavon RFC 19 Bedwas RFC 38.
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 27th April 2019.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Over the years the Talbot Athletic Ground has never been a happy hunting ground for Bedwas, indeed just one win in 15 previous attempts testifies the fact that on the field this is as a tough a place as anywhere. Off the field however and a better welcome you seldom find and all Bedwas supporters thank our Aberavon counterparts for their generous hospitality and good humour.
With Storm Hannah playing havoc over South Wales (and beyond) Bedwas had first use of a very strong wind which also contributed to the cold conditions in contrast to t shirts at Ebbw Vale last time out.
Bedwas started well and took the lead after 4 minutes when Deon Smith gratefully swallowed up a loose home pass to gallop through for a try. Joseph Scrivens added the extras to take his personal tally for the season past 200 points.
Bedwas increased their lead five minutes later, Dale Rogers carried the through tackles to within 30 centimetres of the line before the ball was quickly moved across the back line for Jordan Rees to cross in the left hand corner. Scrivens doing well on such a windy day to add the extras.
Aberavon responded with a try from back rower Lee Purnell converted by James Garland and a further try by hooker Ieaun Davies this time Garland’s conversion held up in the wind to reduce Bedwas’ lead to two points.
Bedwas regrouped and after 33 minutes Jordan Rees added his second of the afternoon again in the corner but this time Scrivens’ conversion drifted across the posts.
Bedwas notched up their fourth and bonus point earning try just before the interval as Gareth Allen crossed again in the corner, Scrivens this time successfully converting with a well struck kick.
Past experiences have seen Bedwas lead at half time on this ground before only to be pegged back so everyone of the Bedwas persuasion knew it wasn’t ‘job done’ at this stage.
However resilient defence kept Aberavon out and a break out saw captain Alun Rees driven over for a fifth try to ease any nerves.
Aberavon’s pack had had the upper hand most of the afternoon and this pack power earned them a penalty try and saw Bedwas’ Brynley Toms adjudged the guilty party and an enforced 10 minute break.
Aberavon tried to use their numerical extra but Bedwas defended stoically and no further scores were added. Bedwas meanwhile wrapped up the scoring after 67 minutes as centre Adam Williams broke through the defence and powered in under the sticks. Scrivens added the conversion to put the result beyond doubt.
Bedwas held out for the remaining 12 minutes to claim what could be a vital win. With one game left next week as Swansea are the visitors to the Bridgefield it’s another ‘must win’ game to keep the pressure on Bridgend who have three games left; at home to Cross Keys before potentially tough trips to Aberavon and Pontypridd. Bedwas’ immediate future hangs in the balance.

Images from this game can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/

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Merthyr 30 23 0 7 885 593 117
Cardiff 30 22 1 7 991 660 111
Pontypridd 30 22 0 8 1015 580 110
Llandovery 30 21 1 8 856 551 104
Ebbw Vale 30 20 1 9 762 594 95
Aberavon 30 18 2 10 698 603 90
Newport 30 17 2 11 759 700 88
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 30 14 1 15 852 650 85
Swansea 30 16 0 14 674 594 81
Carmarthen Quins 30 13 1 16 637 584 71
Bridgend Ravens 30 12 0 18 689 714 66
Llanelli 30 12 1 17 679 723 63
Bedwas 30 12 1 17 681 830 62
Cross Keys 30 5 1 24 586 1093 36
Bargoed 30 6 0 24 576 1003 35
Neath 30 1 0 29 406 1274 3