Pontypool RFC 18 Bedwas RFC 13
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 18 October 2008.
Match report by John Meredith, Photographs by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas travelled to Pontypool Park as both sides looked for points to move away from the bottom of the Principality Welsh Premiership.
Bedwas played up the hill (and into the breeze) for the first half, Pontypool notching the first points of the day through a penalty goal by outside half Sam Mills. Both sides playing poor quality rugby, both sets of supporters having little to get excited about. Mills added a second penalty for the home side before Stuart Thomas added a penalty having already pulled one wide to make the score 6 points to 3 to the home side.
Both sides were then down to fourteen men as both hookers were sin binned following a minor flare up.
Pontypool kept the scoreboard ticking over when following a move on halfway scrum half jinked his way over from 40 metres out, Mills unable to add the extras. Stuart Thomas had the chance to add another three points in first half injury time but was once again wide of the posts.
Bedwas started the second half with more determination, wing Adam Hughes make a good break before being bundled into touch just short of the try line. Stuart Thomas added a penalty to take the score to 11-6 in Pontypool’s favour. In typical Gwent derby fashion both packs continued to hammer into each other. Bedwas found themselves down to 14 men as Brendon Lampitt was harshly yellow carded for an offence at a ruck by a referee who was doing his best to upset both sets of supporters with inconsistent decisions.
Bedwas endeavoured to get back into the game, without really getting up a head of steam before Pontypool centre Dan Robinson ran 70 metres to ground under the posts, Mills adding the extras. The referee continued to issue yellow cards and both sides made changes to bring on fresh legs.
In injury time replacement flanker Rob Downes scored a good try for Bedwas, Stuart Thomas adding a good conversion to gain a losing bonus point for Bedwas.
To their credit Bedwas did not give up, and good performances from Deri Mattravers and centre Tom Williams were a ‘plus’ on a disappointing afternoon. Bedwas must bounce back and win their next two fixtures at home to Llandovery and Cross Keys.
‘Roving match reporter’ John Meredith added his opinion
‘I was really upset at the end of the game. I thought there were two poor sides out there today. I know we can play much better. I thought Pontypool were the poorest side we have played this season, but they still beat us. The boys have got to dig deep to turn our season around. We need someone like Steve Gardner if fit to lead the side back to winning ways and Deri Mattravers, these two, in my opinion should be the first two names on the team sheet. All rugby matches are won and lost up front, Steve has that hard, physical edge, and the great respect of players and supporters alike’
John Meredith, 35 years a supporter of Bedwas RFC