Bedwas Lose Narrowly In Sixty Point Bonanza
Aberavon RFC 33 Bedwas RFC 27 Premier Division Saturday 12 April 2008.
Match report by Geoff Watkins, photography by Ian Lovell
A bright, sunny afternoon at the Talbot Athletic Ground and what wind there was favoured Bedwas in the first half. A match full of running with three tries apiece but a disappointing narrow defeat for Bedwas, slipping down one place to 8th in the fourteen club Premiership with three matches left to play, the final match the re-arranged home fixture against Aberavon.
The Wizards fielded their usual heavyweight pack, Bedwas opening the scoring with a 4th minute penalty for a high tackle, converted by Jason Tovey. Wing Jimmy Norris seized on a loose pass to race away for an 11th minute try with a fine conversion by Jason Tovey. Aberavon responded well with a move from half way, wing Steve Davies although tackled was able to touch down, the conversion by outside half Jamie Davies. Play moved rapidly from end to end, Jason Tovey slotting an excellent 24th minute penalty. Aberavon typically using their big forwards with driving mauls reaping their reward when lock Lyndon Bateman crashed over under the posts for Jamie Davies to convert for a one point lead.
Bedwas suffered a blow when lock Adam Brown came off injured, replaced by Neil Lewis but again hit back when Jimmy Norris sliced through for a fine try and an equally impressive touchline conversion from Jason Tovey. Bedwas then conceded an easy in front of posts for Jamie Davies to convert. Bedwas again had more injury problems, scrum half Gareth Crothers, facial injury, replaced by James Pizey with just one minute of the half remaining the score 20-17 to Bedwas.
Bedwas opened the second period with a flourish when centre Adam Hughes streaked away over 80 metres to score wide out followed by a huge touchline conversion from Jason Tovey, in the opening minute of the half. The Wizards bouncing back with a Jamie Davies penalty, Bedwas replacing flanker Andrew Tibbatts (shoulder injury) with Phi Sargent and prop Dafydd Lewis with Gareth Leonard on 43 minutes but were then down to a seven man pack when lock Craig Powell was sin-binned on 47 minutes. The home side immediately resorting to driving mauls, pedantic but gaining ground slowly which brought a 50th minute penalty for Jamie Davies to reduce their deficit to 4 points. The Wizards bought on their replacements, the killer blow coming after 55 minutes, centre John Leyshon saw the gap and went in under the posts for Jamie Davies to add the extras for the lead.
Bedwas replaced hooker Brian Edwards with Keiran Crawford and prop Keiron Jenkins with Gareth Leonard and final replacement John Welch came on for centre Dai Atkins. A penalty for a high tackle gave Jamie Davies his fourth penalty with 12 minutes left. Against the run of play at that stage Bedwas came back strongly, a try seemed almost certain but the pass went astray and then lock Neil Lewis crossed the line but called back by the referee. The final minutes were frantic as the Bridgefield fought for the winning score but had to be content with a losing bonus point.
Bedwas next face a home match against a resurgent Bridgend on Saturday 17 April 2008.
Bedwas Coach Steve Law
‘Historically we do well against Aberavon but we seldom seem to snatch the win and again we were leading at half time but three second half penalties were enough to put Aberavon in front. Wrong options and stray passes prevented a possible result against a good all-round side’
Aberavon Coach Simon King
‘Very pleased with this particular win as Bedwas always give us problems. They have a strong side with a talented back division. We trailed for a long while and were turned over too often but came back to snatch a hard worked for result’
Stuart Thomas, Scott Horner, Adam Hughes, Dai Atkins, Jimmy Norris, Jason Tovey, Gareth Crothers, Dafydd Lewis, Brian Edwards, Keiron Jenkins, Craig Powell, Adam Brown, Andrew Tibbatts, Robert Downes, Brendon Lampitt.
Neil Lewis (Brown 29 mins) James Pizey (Crothers 39 mins), Gareth Leonard (Lewis 43 mins), Keiran Crawford (Edwards 56 mins), Jon Salter (Jenkins 56 mins), Phil Sargent (Tibbatts 43 mins), John Welch (Atkins 64 mins).