Bedwas all-round performance wins the day.
Bedwas 21 Newport 8 Premier Division, Sat.29 December 2007.
Report by Geoff Watkins, Photographs by Ian Lovell.
This was the last match of 2007 for Bedwas and they celebrated an early New Year, as, after a hard physical match in difficult conditions they overcame a big Newport side two tries to one. Full back Jason Tovey reshuffling to outside half, sealing the match with ten points in the final three minutes. Principality Man of the Match was Matthew Pizey with an all round attacking and defensive performance. The notable win takes Bedwas up to 10th place.
Bedwas started well with a second minute try by Matthew Pizey after an excellent bout of accurate passing from loose play. However, playing into the teeth of a strong wind coupled with driving rain were soon on the back foot as Newport used the elements well to camp in the home half. Newport enjoyed a purple patch commencing with a 5th minute penalty by outside half James Dixon and resorting to long driving mauls. Bedwas defended in numbers with frequent injury stoppages Newport replacing injured flanker Richard Dale on 23 minutes. Bedwas eventually broke the deadlock when centre Phil Dollman was on target with a 37th minute penalty against the strong wind. Ten minutes prior to half time Bedwas switched on the floodlights as the gloom increased and went in at half time leading 8-3, the usual large crowd of Newport supporters and home supporters settling down in anticipation of an equally nail biting second period.
Jason Tovey opened the scoring in the second half with a well taken 27 metre angled penalty. Newport making changes at full back, outside half, and hooker and Bedwas bringing on James Pizey for scrum half Simon Jones after 51 minutes. The abrasive, physically demanding play swayed up and down field, but to their credit both sides attempted sweeping, open rugby, tight, crash tackling defence preventing scores. Bedwas replaced injured centre Phil Dollman with Stuart Thomas and hooker Kieran Crawford with Peter Harrison as injuries took their toll. Newport used all their substitutes to get back into a still tight game with the result still in doubt. Bedwas were suddenly under pressure as No. 8 Andrew Tibbatts was sinbinned with just eleven minutes left, Newport piling in hard for flanker Craig Hill to be driven over for a 78th minute unconverted try. Bedwas made a huge final effort and Jason Tovey slotted an 80th minute penalty and sealed the match with an injury time try which he then converted. The final whistle a minute later ending what was possibly the Bridgefield club’s best performance of the season to date and a crucial home win. Bedwas next travel to Llandovery, Saturday 5 January 2008, a club struggling at the moment but formidable on their own patch.
Bedwas coach Steve Law
'I thought that Bedwas played as well as they have all season. Against such a strong first half wind we covered and tackled superbly and being in front 8-3 half time probably won us the match. Although Newport had a lot of possession they could not get the ball away and none worked harder than wing Matthew Pizey in defence and attack. Not a match for the connoisseur but played in the hard old fashioned way.'
Newport Head Coach Ian Hembrow
'Bedwas adapted better to the difficult conditions and did very well to lead at half time. It was a hard match from start to finish and could have gone either way until the final flurry of Bedwas points at the very end. Our team showed character and endeavour throughout but all credit to a very good Bedwas side that kept going even when down to a seven man pack.'
Jason Tovey, Matthew Pizey, Adam Hughes, Phil Dollman, Nathan Hill, John Welch (Captain), Simon Jones, Gareth Leonard, Kieran Crawford, Keiron Jenkins, Craig Powell, Adam Brown, Phil Sargent, James Harris, Andrew Tibbatts.
Replacements:Jon Tilley (Leonard 62 mins), Peter Harrison (Crawford 53 mins), Rhodri Edwards (Powell 62 mins), Brendan Lampitt (Tibbatts 80 mins), Ross Jones (Keiron Jenkins 62 mins), James Pizey (Jones 51 mins), Stuart Thomas (Dollman 55 mins).