Bedwas sink in mud-bath
Glamorgan Wanderers RFC 14 Bedwas RFC 0
Premier Division Saturday 19 January 2008. Match report by Geoff Watkins, photographs by Ian Lovell
The majority of people at the Memorial Ground were in agreement that the match should not have been played. A driving wind, coupled with continuous rain that had prevailed all morning and through the previous night reduced the pitch to a mud bath. The weather throughout South Wales reflecting this, as seventeen points was the highest Premiership score on the day.
A dour, error strewn slog from start to finish, with any semblance of handling a rare happening, Wanderers were handed three early penalties, scored the only try and overall had the edge by virtue of their bigger, heavier forwards.
Bedwas coach Steve Law commented ‘I was very disappointed, Wanderers is not an easy place to come to and the conditions dictated how the teams would be allowed to play. They adapted better and ultimately were worthy of their win on the day. I have had a number of harsh words to say to some of the players who let themselves and the Club down today.’
Of the match itself the Wanderers took advantage of an error with an opening minute 22 metre penalty by centre Aled James that just scraped inside the post, Bedwas clearly having difficulty their lines against the strong wind as the home side piled in with nine man rugby tactics. An aggressive maul bringing them a long, stern caution but the following maul saw Bedwas flanker James Harris sin-binned for Aled James to slot his second penalty after 18 minutes. Three minutes later James added a third, again in front of the posts, penalty. With the pitch now a veritable patch of mud it was hard to distinguish between the mud plastered sets of players as maul after maul ensued until finally big No.8 Richard Thomas was driven over for a 33rd minute try, the score at 14-0 remained until the end of the match. A strong run by Stuart Thomas took Bedwas to the corner, the half ended with Wanderers hanging onto their lead, a half in which only seven penalties were awarded, the referee playing advantage at every opportunity.
During the interval the home side changed their jerseys and brought on 6’7” substitute flanker Alex Luff for the second period. Bedwas replacing injured centre Adam Hughes with David Atkins and as the same relentless stamina-sapping pattern of play continued replaced flanker Neil Lewis with Phil Sargent and prop Jon Tilley with Gareth Leonard. With the lashing rain intensifying Wanderers rang the changes and Bedwas replaced prop Keiron Jenkins with Jon Salter and scrum half James Pizey with Simon Jones for the last quarter. The match was now largely confined to midfield with players slipping and sliding, making errors in the mud and now completely indistinguishable. Bedwas replaced lock Craig Powell with Sion Dafydd after 73 minutes, a final spirited effort taking them to the home corner but to no avail and the Wanderers had ended their run of recent defeats.
Bedwas next travel to Bonymaen on Saturday 26 January 2008 for a Konica Minolta Cup Match, their next Premiership fixture away to a resurgent Swansea for an evening match on Friday 8th February 2008.
Stuart Thomas, Scott Horner, Adam Hughes, John Welch (Captain), Jimmy Norris, Jason Tovey, James Pizey, John Tilley, Brian Edwards, Keiron Jenkins, Craig Powell, Adam Brown, Neil Lewis, James Harris, Andrew Tibbatts.