Konica Minolta Welsh Cup, Round 3.
Bedwas RFC 46, Nantyffyllon RFC 0
Match report by Geoff Watkins, Photographs by Ian Lovell.
Premier Club Bedwas played host to Nantyffyllon, currently in Division 3 South West, a rare opportunity for Bedwas to be drawn at home in the Cup.They made the most of it after a slow start with a number of team changes, but came through for an eight try comprehensive win.
On an overcast, bitterly cold day and the pitch in excellent, well groomed condition Bedwas elected to switch on the floodlights prior to the kick-off.
A spirited Nant tore into the opposition from the start and claimed most of the territory for the first quarter, almost over the line twice but were unable to break a well organised, solid defence. The opening score coming from Bedwas in the 15th minute with an individual effort when wing Scott Horner collected a clearance kick and showed great pace to swerve around tacklers and ground under the posts. Full back Stuart Thomas adding the conversion. Bedwas were again on the back foot and it was clear that Bedwas, while absorbing the pressure, needed to combine better and step up the ante. The match suddenly turned when a 45 metre burst of close interpassing put elusive wing Matthew Pizey away after 25 minutes, Stuart Thomas adding the conversion. With support in numbers Peter Harrison found space to race along the touch line for a try in the corner. Just two minutes later centre Adam Hughes split the defence and set Matthew Pizey on a determined run, crashing over for a try, Thomas's conversion attempt hitting the post. These 19 points in a twelve minute burst saw the home side leading 26-0 at half time and in control, the match effectively beyond Nantyffyllon.
Five minutes into the second half Bedwas replaced Scott Horner with Nathan Hill, and Nant having replaced their hooker after twenty minutes started to make regular substitutions, including Team Manager/Prop Kevin Scourfield to get back into the game. To their credit Nant never gave up and in the eyes of their supporters gave their best performance of the season. Bedwas replaced prop Jon Slater with Keiron Jenkins and scrum half Simon Jones with James Pizey on 55 minutes and again powerful scrummaging, and speed to the breakdown and recycling had centre David Atkins bursting over at the end of the third quarter. The home side maintaining overwhelming pressure, well led by captain/flanker Robert Downes and brought on their remaining substitutes in the 68th minute with hooker pat McGee, prop Dafydd Lewis, lock Sion Dafydd, and flanker Neil Lewis and contributing to the team effort from the moment they entered the fray. Dafydd Lewis smashing over for a try after 70 minutes and James Pizey at the end for the eighth try and complete a comprehensive cup victory.
Will the next round be against a local club?, but first two tough league matches away to Cardiff on Saturday 22 December and home to Newport on Saturday 29 December.
Bedwas coach Steve Law
'Very happy to be in the next round. It was never going to be an easy game, and Nant made it hard and competed for the full 80 minutes in spite of the scoreline. Superior fitness and all-round intensity won through in the end and with so many changes this can only be good as it creates a fierce competition within the squad. We look forward to the next round.
Nantyffyllon Team Manager Kevin Scourfield
'For the first 20 minutes Nant were well on top, however Bedwas showed their pedigree Premiership quality by breaking away three times and scoring each time. From that point on they were in control and built up a big lead. As team manager and player I was proud of our performance and we should have had some points. Best wishes for Bedwas in the Cup and Premiership.
Stuart Thomas, Scott Horner, Adam Hughes, Dai Atkins, Matthew Pizey, Andrew James, Simon Jones, John Tilley, Peter Harrison, Jon Salter, Craig Powell, Adam Brown Phil Sargent, Robert Downes (Captain), Brendan Lampitt.
Relacements; Dafydd Lewis (for Tilley 68 mins), Pat McGee (for Harrison 68 mins), Keiron Jenkins (for Salter 55 mins), Neil Lewis (for Sargent 68 mins), James Pizey (for Simon Jones 57 minutes), Nathan Hill (for Scott Horner 45 mins)