Bedwas win bruising battle.
Bedwas RFC 19, Swansea RFC 6
Match report by Geoff Watkins, photographs by Ian Lovell.
A win apiece last season, both on their own patch and it carried on where they left off with Bedwas battling hard for an important home result against a heavier all round Swansea side. Bedwas scoring the solitary try in a bruising, tight encounter to move up to 6th place in the Division.
Sustained opening pressure brought a 5th minute penalty for Bedwas full back Stuart Thomas, Swansea surging back with a series of bulldozing attacks but unable to break a well marshalled defence which saw stalemate at the end of the first quarter. Bedwas moved further ahead with a second Stuart Thomas penalty, the Whites eventually getting on the scoreboard with a 29th minute penalty from Nicky Thomas. Swansea continued to stamina sapping driving mauls but Bedwas held out to see the half end at 6-3 to Bedwas, a half of mostly confrontational power play.
The second period opened with a long drop goal attempt by home outside half Jason Tovey just scrapping the post. An unkind bounce then prevented Bedwas running in a try under the posts. On 45 minutes Bedwas replaced injured hooker Peter Harrison with Keiran Crawford, the All Whites fighting back to add a penalty by full back Ricky Williams. Bedwas then made three substitutions at scrum half, prop and lock as the visitors relentlessly smashed forward but the next score came from the boot of Stuart Thomas with a fine 45 metre penalty.
For the final quarter grafting prop Jon Tilley was replaced by Gareth Leonard but with big lock Adam Brown sin-binned with twelve minutes left Bedwas had to sustain a period of bruising forward onslaught, but again Stuart Thomas’ fourth penalty frustrated Swansea. Was a six point lead enough?
The match was sealed with four minutes remaining. A midfield breakdown saw wing Matthew Pizey pouncing on the ball and leaving the defence trailing as he raced in from half way, Stuart Thomas adding the conversion. Bedwas still had to show their defensive qualities as Swansea fought back to the home line. Bedwas next have two tough away matches against Ebbw Vale and Neath on 20th and 27th October 2007 respectively.
Bedwas Coach Steve Law:
‘A hard fought win. Not a classic match but great effort and determination shown by the whole team to grind out a result which we deserved at the end of a gruelling 80 minutes. I am pleased with the way young wing Gareth Dare made his premiership debut playing diligently and with determination against experienced opposition.’
Swansea Coach Richard Webster:
‘A very tough match up front. We had a lot of ball and territory but our line out did not function well. We threw everything at Bedwas, particularly in the final stages but were met with resilience and determination in defence. The Bridge Field is a hard place to come to.
Stuart Thomas, Gareth Dare, Adam Hughes, John Welch, Matthew Pizey, Jason Tovey, James Pizey, John Tilley, Peter Harrison, Aled Williams, Rhodri Edwards, Adam Brown, Phil Sargent, Robert Downs, Andrew Tibbats.
Replacements: Gareth Leonard (Tilley 60 mins), Keiran Crawford (Harrison 45 mins), Keiron Jenkins (Williams 50), Craig Powell (Edwards 50), Neil Lewis (Sargent 69 mins), Simon Jones (J. Pizey 50 mins) Dai Atkins (80 mins).