Bridgend RFC 27 Bedwas RFC 27
Welsh Premier Division, Saturday 17 November 2007.
Match report by John Butler, Photography by Ian Lovell.
Honours even after physical encounter.
Bedwas visited bottom of the table Bridgend on Saturday and were somewhat fortunate to come away with a draw.
Fielding a much-changed side from their previous weeks’ defeat to Maesteg Bedwas started the game at a furious pace. Both sides took time to settle but Bedwas took the lead on 10 minutes with a Stuart Thomas penalty, taking Stuart to a personal landmark of 100 points for the season.
Bridgend hit back and good pressure from the home backs saw winger Chris Weightman in for a try, converted by Matthew Jones in his first game back for the Ravens following a stint at Moseley. For all their efforts Bedwas could not find a way past the home defence.
The Bridgend backs cut loose on the half hour and with the Bedwas defence in disarray an accurate cross field kick by Matthew Jones found Weightman in space and he duly scored his second try of the afternoon, Jones again adding the extras.
Bedwas were not to be denied and straight from the kick off Captain John Welch charged down a clearance kick and Phil Dollman collected the loose ball to dive over for a try. Stuart Thomas put the icing on the cake with the extras. Bedwas continued to press and a scintillating run by winger Adam Hughes saw the visitors awarded a penalty kick wide out but on this occasion Stuart Thomas was unsuccessful. Bedwas continued to press and after 35 minutes Phil Dollman charged down a clearance kick and dived over for try almost identical to his first, Stuart Thomas missing the conversion. Bedwas upped the pressure but saw two penalty shots from Stuart Thomas go agonisingly wide before Scott Horner hacked the ball on for a try in the corner to see Bedwas leading 20-14 at the interval.
Bridgend appeared to start the second half the stronger and with the wind at their backs put Bedwas under pressure. However with both sets of players becoming frustrated a fracas between both sets of players on the hour saw all go unpunished, Matthew Jones, however landing the resultant penalty. Shortly afterwards home replacement number 8 Gareth Williams found himself sinbinned for a swinging arm and he was followed by Bedwas replacement hooker Brian Edwards for dissent. Bridgend continued to dominate and left wing Dan Connolly crossed for a try, converted by Jones to put their side 24-20 to the good.
Bedwas sent on four replacements after 70 minutes to try and salvage something from the game but Bridgend stretched their lead to 7 points with another Jones penalty and only five minutes plus stoppage left.
Deep into injury time Bridgend replacement second row Nathan White found himself sinbinned for killing the ball and from the resultant scrum Bedwas number 8 Andrew Tibbats was driven over the line and somewhat controversially referee Phil Connett awarded the try to the disgust of the home fans. Bridgend had a chance to win the game at the death but to the fury of the home support disallowed what they believed to be a certain try. Bedwas somehow escaped the match with 2 points for the draw and an additional bonus point for scoring 4 tries and climb to eighth position.
Bedwas are next in action on Saturday 1st December 2007 when Aberavon visit the Bridgefield.
Stuart Thomas, Scott Horner, Phil Dollman, John Welch (Capt.), Adam Hughes, Jason Tovey, Simon Jones, Gareth Leonard, Peter Harrison, John Salter, Rhodri Edwards, Craig Powell, Phil Sargent, James Harris, Andrew Tibbatts.
Replacements: John Tilley (Leonard 70 mins), Brian Edwards (Harrison 50 mins), Keiron Jenkins (Salter 70 mins), Sion Dafydd (not used), Stuart Phillips (not used), James Pizey (Jones 70 mins), Andrew James (Tovey 70 mins).