Bedwas officials, players and supporters were understandably bewildered and irate at the referee’s decisions in this hard fought Gwent match and Vale knew that they had, fortunately, survived to remain clear at the top of the Premiership. With just minutes left and trailing by six points, Bedwas exerted tremendous pressure, Vale being driven back on their line, the scrum lifting, the ref reset the scrum Vale collapsed the scrum preventing a winning score, a penalty try seemed likely, referee NEIL BALLARD reset the third scrum and again Vale were driven back, the Vale flanker broke away and illegally dived into the Bedwas scrum, the whistle going instantly would it be a penalty try or a penalty and yellow card, particularly as during the match both Bedwas flankers had come around the scrum early and both were immediately sin-binned.
There were long moments of waiting, the ref then deciding to end the match and a possible victory to Bedwas was denied, the 25-19 result pushing them down to 12th place. The South Wales Argus banner headline rightly read ‘Vale Luck Day’. Bedwas points from a try by wing TYLAN MAFI, converted by centre PHIL DOLMAN who also added four penalties.
Bedwas Coach – Ian Gardner
My honest opinion is that the referee bottled it. Vale came up in one scrum, dropped the next scrum, blatantly infringed at the third scrum and the ref blows for the end of the game. It takes some guts to go against the home team at the very end of a match but I felt he bottled it and told him so.
Ebbw Vale Coach – Alex Codling
Did not refute the Bedwas claims but stated ‘some decisions go for you and some don’t. Bedwas had a lot of fight and never gave up but the big thing for us is that we came through to win again.