Neath RFC 3 Bedwas RFC 28
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 13th April 2019.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Two tries in each half saw Bedwas earn the winning bonus point they required which briefly saw the side occupy 11th position in the table before Llanelli defeated Bridgend 25 points to 20 in the early evening televised fixture.
On a sunny afternoon with a keen breeze the game started with both sides vying for supremacy, strong tackling saw no scoring until the 12th minute when from a close range scrum Luke Crane fed Nathan Hudd who saw Deon Smith in space out wide to cross for a try. Joseph Scrivens picked up where he left last time out and confidently slotted the conversion into the wind.
Bedwas upped the pressure and came close to adding to their tally but Nathan Hudd was stopped inches shy of the try line on two occasions.
Just before the half hour Neath’s Callum Hall notched a penalty goal to close the gap to four points. Bedwas continued to battle away and Tom Benjamin came close before being tackled close the try line but Neath’s Gavin Evans was sin binned for slowing the ball down. Bedwas used valuable energy from the forwards with a series of pick and drives before the ball was spread wide to Adam Williams who made no mistake. Scrivens added the extras, there was still time before the half time whistle for Mike Dacey to crash over the try line but unfortunately he knocked on as he dabbed the ball down.
With the breeze at their backs for the second half Bedwas sought to put the game to bed, again the forwards kept the ball in close quarters and from a close range drive it appeared the referee awarded a try only to then rule it out after a consultation with one of his touch judges. Bedwas did not let their heads drop and two minutes later Lewis Bowden broke through for his side’s third try. Scrivens added the conversion to increase the lead.
Eight minutes later Bedwas had the bonus point in the bag when Mike Dacey was driven over for try which was embellished by Scrivens’ successful conversion.
With the bonus point in the bag Bedwas made a raft of substitutions between the 59th and 67th minute.
On occasions Neath posed a threat with the ball in hand but the Bedwas defence was in no mood to conceded anything and for the first time this season Bedwas prevented their opponents from crossing the try line.
Neath worked hard in an attempt to get on the board but to no avail as Bedwas despite the late sin binning of Jordan Rees for a high tackle held out for the win.
The battle to avoid relegation continues with the likelihood of a few more twists and turns as the season comes to an end. Bedwas have three games to play starting next Saturday at Eugene Cross Park Ebbw Vale, followed by Aberavon away and a season closing home game against Swansea on 4th May. With a points tally of 52 points and 12th place in the table all eyes will also be on the fortunes of Llanelli and Bridgend. Llanelli occupy 11th position with 53 points and two games left to play both at home to Swansea and Neath. Meanwhile Bridgend sit in 13th place and five games to play with home ties against RGC, Cross Keys and Swansea with away trips to Bargoed and Pontypridd as they seek to add to their tally of 45 points.
Images from this game can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums