There could not have been a better ending to a long and difficult season, both on and off the field, as Bedwas rounded off a final run-in of five wins in seven matches. This evening match at the Bridge Field resulting in a six try demolition of Maesteg, the highest Bedwas score of the season.
In ideal conditions both teams played it abrasively up front and willing to run the ball at every opportunity behind. Many Bedwas players were outstanding but none more so than centre PHIL DOLLMAN who ran in their first three tries, the third a blistering run through a packed Maesteg defence. The first quarter belonged territorially to the visitors but the running out of defence brought two DOLLMAN tries and full back STUART THOMAS added a conversion and two penalties for Bedwas to lead 18-10 at the interval. Maesteg scoring a try by centre RODDY BOOBYER converted by outside half LUKE RICHARDS who added a snap drop goal with the final kick of the half.
Bedwas switched on their floodlights at the interval, the second half starting with the expected all-out ‘Old Parish’ onslaught, Bedwas absorbing the pressure with tremendous crash tackling in numbers. Maesteg gained RICHARDS penalty to bring them within five points.
Bedwas replaced injured scrum-half HARRY TRELAWNEY with SIMON JONES. In the 60th minute Bedwas scored the try of the match as PHIL DOLMAN sliced through the defence, STUART THOMAS adding the extras. Just two minutes later a SIMON JONES break sent wing JAMES LEWIS racing clear from 45 meteres for a try in the corner. STUART THOMAS added a superb touchline conversion to put Bedwas 32-10 up and virtually seal the match.
Both sides battled hard for scores, with Bedwas replacing injured hooker BEN FLOWER with PETER HARRISON and then lost JAMES LEWIS with an eye injury (and a visit to casualty), replaced by FION McLAUGHLAN. Bedwas, however, increased their lead when prop DAVID MADDOCKS was driven over, STUART THOMAS adding the conversion. Bedwas were not finished and substitute prop, having been on the field for only four minutes was in support for a 74th minute try. STUART THOMAS again adding the conversion for a personal tally of 16 points.
Maesteg added a consolation try in the final minute when number 8 KARL HOCKING crossed and LUKE RICHARDS added the extra two points. Bedwas left the field to deserved appreciative applause from the Bridge Field faithful who appreciated their emphatic victory.
BEDWAS FORWARD COACH IAN GARDENER
‘We said before the game that a particularly hard season would come down the last 80 minutes. A few nervous moments but the boys came good with a tremendous all-round team performance just as the coaching staff predicted. On a personal note, as I am stepping down from coaching, I would like to thank to thank the Committee and supporters but most of all the players and fellow coaching staff which have flown by and put Bedwas into the top flight of Welsh rugby. I can honestly say that it has been a pleasure to have been involved with Bedwas RFC’.
MAESTEG DIRECTOR OF RUGBY COLIN HOPKINS
Same as last seasons match. We were under no illusions that Bedwas are a well drilled, physical side, a hard experienced pack and pace throughout the back line. They were very clinical in everything they did, particularly finishing. Except for the opening phase and part of the third quarter we were never really in the game. All credit to Bedwas and we look forward to playing them again next season in the Premiership.