Bedwas RFC 31 Bridgend RFC 24
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 6th April 2019
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas dug deep to hold off a late Bridgend fight back to claim a huge win which will hopefully go a long way to staving off relegation at the end of the season. Credit must be given to the entire squad for their efforts but special praise must go to the two permit players from Cardiff Met RFC (Tom Benjamin and Jack Wright) and the returning Mike Callow (playing his first game since November 8th 2018) for putting in excellent shifts.
On a sunny afternoon with moderate breeze at their backs Bedwas got off to a flying start. A break down the middle found James Richards who cantered into the corner for a try with only two minutes elapsed. Joseph Scrivens added the extras against his former club.
Bridgend responded immediately when Bedwas were penalised for a high tackle full back Owen Howe slotted the resulting penalty to reduce the arrears. Howe had a second opportunity ten minutes later after Bedwas were penalised at a ruck but this time his kick sailed wide.
Bedwas regained their mojo and a break down the left by Jordan Rees saw him break through a tackle and cross out wide; Scrivens added the conversion with a well taken kick.
Again Bridgend countered this time with a try on 29 minutes scrum half Chris Williams allowed space and time to cross under the sticks after the Bedwas defence momentarily switched off. Howe easily added the extras.
Scrivens’ 33rd minute penalty increased the Bedwas lead and was the last scoring of an entertaining half.
With the breeze in their faces in the second half Bedwas took the game to their opponents, the pressure turned into points as Scrivens notched a further three penalty goals on 49, 52 and 59 minutes to increase the Bedwas lead.
Just past the hour a break down the left by Jordan Rees saw him beat his marker to set up the supporting Tom Benjamin who sprinted in from 25 metres to cross by the corner flag. Scrivens’ accuracy deserted him on this occasion but his previous precision was enough to see him awarded Bedwas man of the match.
The 66th minute sin binning of captain Nathan Hudd for a no arms tackle on Bridgend’s outside half Jamie Murphy proved decisive as immediately the visitors sensed it could be their day. Replacement centre Stuart Floyd-Ellis wasted no time in taking advantage of an unorganised Bedwas defence as he crossed for under the posts. Cai Evans quickly added the conversion with a drop kick.
Bridgend continued to press and with Bedwas still down to fourteen men took their chance via a try from outside half Jamie Murphy converted by Howe to reduce the arrears to only 7 points and vitally for the Bridgend cause as losing bonus point would be the least they would take home.
Bedwas had to dig in and with the return of Hudd from his 10 minute sabbatical some normality returned to the defence which to their credit was resolute as Bridgend threw the proverbial kitchen sink at them.
The final whistle eventually came and everyone of the Bedwas persuasion could finally breath again after a nerve jangling last ten minutes.
It looks likely that the relegation could go to the wire but Bedwas attention must be on huge game at rock bottom Neath next Saturday which once again is a must win fixture. Bridgend host Llanelli in the televised fixture on Friday evening in another huge game which will have a big impact on how the bottom five shape up.
The Bedwas man of the match award sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly was awarded to Joseph Scrivens.
Images from this game can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums
Bedwas RFC 31 Bridgend RFC 24