Machen 1sts 21 Bedwas 2nds 25.
Friday 01 April 2022.
Match report by Tyler Pesci-Griffiths, Photos courtesy of Angela Brideaux.
The match was set to have everything…explosive action, fast and furious pace and crunching tackles and it didn’t disappoint. Bedwas had its largest squad to choose from and even ex-coach John Salter made an impressive contribution to the game.
First half, for the first 10 mins, Bedwas were on the defensive with excellent tackling techniques from Owain Brideaux, Alex Kawulok and skipper Dewi Thomas to name a few. The Wass soon turned the tide and after playing some hard phases downfield, were awarded a penalty just inside the Machen 22, successfully converted by centre Tyler Picton, giving Bedwas a 0-3 lead.
Bedwas’ first try of the game came at around the 30-minute mark, where great awareness from Kyle Jackson, scooped up a Machen knock on their 5-metre line to cross the whitewash, replacement outside half Owen Thomas added the extras. After a disappointing first half, Machen quickly got themselves back into the game with their winger scoring a well worked individual effort from their own half, with a successful kick the score line came to 7-10.
Bedwas got themselves back up and running with some great attack phases and set piece plays, creating an opportunity in the Machen half. The ball came to fullback Hamish Anderson who threw a superb long pass out to Tyler Picton who was sat out wide. After a dummy and a sharp step, the Machen winger was beaten for Tyler to score in the corner. Owen Thomas added the conversation from far out, giving Bedwas a further seven points to their lead.
The game became tit for tat as Machen scored midway through the half, with a try from a pick and go by their scrum half, again with the added conversion, closed the gap between the local rivals. A penalty kick from Owen Thomas behind the right hand twenty-two then added an extra three to Bedwas’ tally.
Bedwas’ third and final try of the game came as fullback Hamish Anderson broke the Machen line once again and passed out to winger Saul Down, who showed great speed and strength to break two defenders and cross in the same place as teammate Tyler Picton did earlier on. This time the kick was unsuccessful with the ball just edging to the left of the posts.
As the game drew to a close, Bedwas seemed in comfortable control however a Machen surge and a late converted try from their winger who already had one to his name, closed the margin to three points.
There was just enough time for one more kick off, giving the home side one final chance, a scrum conceded from the kick-off going straight out of play, gave a glimmer of hope but the Bedwas boys kept their composure and piled on the pressure to the Machen attack, forcing a handling error and the ball exiting the field of play, welcoming the referees final whistle.
A huge team effort and a performance full of heart from the boys of the Bridgefield earned them the reward of a win of the season over their long-standing local rivals.
Everyone at Bedwas RFC would also like to wish all the best to prop Curtis Jeremiah (right of picture) on his final game in a Bedwas jersey as he has announced his retirement from rugby following this fixture.