Bedwas Bounce Back With Double Over Newport.
Newport RFC Bedwas RFC 12 Premier Division Saturday 26 April 2008.
Match Report by Geoff Watkins, photography by Ian Lovell
A dry, warm, spring day at Rodney Parade and the pitch perfect for running rugby. The last home match of the season for Newport bought the supporters out, but in a match of such movement there were no tries, Bedwas bounced back after their last kick of the match defeat the previous week to achieve a notable double over their close rivals with a 4 to 3 penalty count.
Bedwas Coach Steve Law commented ‘we thoroughly deserved our win; we played with great commitment, passion and sheer endeavour. We should have scored tries, we created the chances and did everything but cross the line and dug deep at the end as Newport put great pressure on us. We are a little aggrieved that so many 50/50 decisions went against us. The result shows the talent in the area outside of Newport that can serve the Regional side’.
Newport coach Ian Hembrow stated 'this was my last home match as coach; I step down after next weeks game at Llandovery. I had hoped to provide the supporters with a home win but Bedwas played a spoiling game and had an extremely good defence. Newport never really put their game together and this bought Bedwas the victory'
Bedwas opened the match on the offensive, an early attack saw scrum half James Pizey hauled down at the line and kept Newport back-pedalling. On their first visit to the visitors end of the pitch outside half Dan Griffiths slotted a 13th minute penalty and then added a second on 18 minutes. Bedwas hit back with sharp passing at pace, centre Phil Dollman almost in at the corner, but not passing early enough for wing Adam Hughes to cross. Bedwas continued to prove better at moving the ball at pace with Newport resorting to exhausting driving with their much heavier pack. On the half hour Bedwas were again just four metres short of a try, Newport piling in heavily to steal the ball and clear the danger. The match continued at a frantic pace, from end to end, ending 6-0 to Newport, a half in which had three clear chances but failed to capitalise.
Bedwas replaced prop Dafydd Lewis with Gareth Leonard at half time and straight from kick off opened up the Newport defence. A gilt edged try under the posts was at their mercy but the final pass went astray. Bedwas opened their account with a 47th minute penalty from full back Stuart Thomas, who then attempted a 45 metre angled penalty on 52 minutes which sailed over to level the scores. The evenly contested match had the supporters looking for the first try but had to be content with Dan Griffiths’s third penalty on 60 minutes with Stuart Thomas again levelling the scores at 9-9 with a difficult penalty two minutes later.
An unusual incident the occurred when a Bedwas clearance kick hit referee David Bodily who collapsed but resumed after treatment. Bedwas replaced grafting flanker Phil Sargent with Brendan Lampitt and lock Craig Powell with Neil Lewis for the final 10 minutes. The match still in the melting pot and which side would get the match winning score. With five minutes left Newport conceded a penalty and Stuart Thomas converted an undoubtedly pressure kick for the lead. Newport mounted a final all-out effort into the 22 metre area and then into injury time, camping near the line, gained a penalty but opted for a 5 metre catch and drive line out which also had them piling over. Two powerful scrums followed well into injury time but a determined, aggressive, bodies on the line defensive effort by the Bridgefield club played out the 5 minutes of injury time for a notable double over the Black and Ambers, the win keeping them in 8th place in the fourteen strong Premiership.
Stuart Thomas, Adam Hughes, Phil Dollman, Dai Atkins, Jimmy Norris, John Welch, James Pizey, Dafydd Lewis, Keiran Crawford, Keiron Jenkins, Craig Powell, Rhodri Edwards, Phil Sargent, Andrew Tibbatts, Neil Lewis
Andrew James, Patrick McGee, Brendan Lampitt (Sargent 64 mins), Scott Horner, Sion Dafydd (Edwards 70mins), Jon Salter, Gareth Leonard (Lewis h/t)