Bedwas Bounced Out of Cup.
Konica Minolta Cup Round 5.
Bedwas RFC 14 Newport RFC 21, Saturday 16 February 2008-02-17
Match report by Geoff Watkins, photographs by Ian Lovell
Bedwas, having run in fifteen tries and eighty-nine points without reply in their previous two cup matches against Division 3 and 1 sides faced far tougher opposition against fellow Gwent Premier Club Newport. Having tasted defeat at the Bridgefield this season Newport had a point to prove and arrived with a large contingent of supporters. A bright sunny day and ideal pitch conditions resulted in the expected close fought abrasive confrontation. Nevertheless a free running game with a dramatic ending saw Bedwas leading with three minutes of normal time left, a drop goal giving Newport the lead and then a freak bounce for a try in the seventh minute of injury time to put Newport through to the quarter finals.
Newport opened a series of driving mauls for a 5th minute penalty by outside half Daniel Griffiths, Bedwas responding with a 9th minute penalty from their outside half Stuart Thomas. Play rapidly moved from end to end as both sides ran the ball at every opportunity, the visitors putting together an excellent move with flanker Craig Hill over for the try converted by Griffiths. Newport had to replace injured prop Stuart Maguire with Daniel Evans after 23 minutes of hard uncompromising forward exchanges and fellow prop Dai Pattison received a long stern caution after trampling on a ruck. The match was held up for several minutes as Bedwas centre David Atkins came off with a dislocated elbow and with all other three squad centres unavailable scrum half James Pizey replaced him. Stuart Thomas slotted his second penalty, the half ending 10-6 to Newport neither side dominant enough to surge and still anybody’s match.
Bedwas started the second period at a furious pace; Newport defending well but home prop Gareth Leonard was sin-binned for failing to roll away at a ruck, Griffiths landing the resultant penalty. Bedwas had two penalty chances a few minutes apart, Stuart Thomas wide with the first, successful with the second on 52 minutes. The home side replaced No.8 Brendon Lampitt with Deri Mattravers back after a long injury spell and grafting flanker Phil Sargent with Andrew Tibbatts. Again Bedwas hammered the visitors line but were unable to capitalise on their opportunities. Bedwas replaced Gareth Leonard with Jon Tilley on 62 minutes the game still fast with players running from all angles. Bedwas continued to throw on the replacements, lock Rhodri Edwards (head injury) replaced by Sion Dafydd and hooker Keiran Crawford by Brian Edwards.
The try of the match came when home centre Adam Hughes cut through for wing Matthew Pizey to race round the defence for a 72nd minute try. The conversion attempt drifted agonisingly wide but Bedwas held a one-point lead and the question was could Bedwas hold out for the win? Newport mounted a huge effort, gained territory and Daniel Griffiths gave them a two-point lead with a smart drop goal. Unfortunately for Bedwas a Stuart Thomas penalty was wide and a dramatic end saw Newport prop Dai Pattison yellow carded and then the long kick ahead, a freak bounce back over the heads of two covering defenders and replacement wing Nathan Williams in for a corner try in the 7th minute of injury time for a narrow cup win.
Bedwas coach Steve Law
‘It’s a shame we couldn’t hold our lead in the final minutes but Newport probably deserved it as they secured more ball. The commitment was there and we certainly had our chances to win but our kicks did not go over. We are certainly not making excuses with our long injury list but selecting a balanced side was difficult.’
Newport coach Ian Hembrow
‘We showed an attitude at the end of a close match that should stand us well for the rest of the season. Some of the referee’s decisions were confusing at times but this happens. If we continue playing like this we are prepared for anybody in the next round.’
Newport President David Watkins
‘Typical Cup-tie but Newport made hard work of it; some of the referee’s decisions seemed a little astray. With the possession we had we should have done better but so should Bedwas if their kicking had been accurate. A good win against resilient side’
Matthew Minty, Matthew Pizey, Adam Hughes, David Atkins, Nathan Hill, Stuart Thomas Simon Jones, Gareth Leonard, Keiran Crawford, John Salter, Craig Powell, Rhodri Edwards, Phil Sargent, Robert Downes, Brendon Lampitt
John Tilley (Leonard 62 mins), Brian Edwards (Crawford 67 mins), Sion Dafydd (R.Edwards 68 mins), Deri Mattravers (Lampitt 56 mins), Andrew Tibbatts (Sargent 56 mins), James Pizey (Atkins 33 mins), Gareth Brothers (not used)