Bedwas maintained their reputation as Keys bogey side with the double in this floodlit match, which was re-arranged, the original January fixture called off due to a waterlogged ground.
The home ground staff had worked hard throughout the afternoon, heavily sanding the Pandy Park pitch to get it into a playable state which also ideally suited the heavyweight Keys pack resulting in a very physical war of attrition with Keys having the majority of the steamroller play but failing to break down a tremendous Bedwas blanket defence, the only score, first half, a late corner try by wing MICHAEL SILCOX and a huge touchline conversion from centre PHIL DOLMAN for Bedwas to lead 7-0 at the interval.
Second half was a repeat with Keys continually smashing forward and international referee NIGEL WHITEHOUSE keeping firm control, Keys finally scoring a converted try at the end of the third quarter to level the scores. The crucial killer blow coming with five minutes left when a PHIL DOLMAN 40 metre penalty sealed a 10-7 Bedwas win.
Unfortunately, the ever present injury jinx struck again with lock KEITH LARRARD stretchered off in the 90th minute with an ankle injury, joining fellow lock RHODRI EDWARDS, recently off with a dislocated shoulder.
Bedwas Coach – Ian Gardner
‘A very hard encounter, with Keys exerting heavy pressure for about sixty minutes of the game. Our defence was outstanding with every player giving 110% for the Club and justifiably gained the double over our nearest rivals.’
Cross Keys Coach – Robert Beale
‘Bitterly disappointed as we had the lions share of possession. It was a game we desperately needed to win but Bedwas defended resolutely and counter attacked well whereas we did not function behind the scrum and relied on our superior weight advantage up front. Bedwas keep winning against Keys but probably deserved it in the end for sheer commitment.’