BEDWAS RFC 10 CROSS KEYS RFC 13
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 1st November 2008.
Match report by John Meredith, photographs by Ian Lovell
In the second of two successive home game Bedwas entertained local rivals Cross Keys. League positions suggested both teams would be desperate for the win.
Bedwas made several changes in the pack, welcoming Steve Gardner in the second row after Adam Brown had been called by the Dragons, and Deri Mattravers back at number 8.
Keys scored the first points of the afternoon Ryan James crossing wide out for a well worked try, Leon Andrews unable to add the conversion.
Both packs tore into each other with ferocity, resulting in a close encounter in tight and loose although Bedwas appeared to have the upper hand at the line out. Keys added a further well worked try by the Dragons Gareth Maule, once again, Andrews failing to add the extras. Half time seeing Cross Keys 10 points to the good.
The second half saw Bedwas playing with more conviction and deservedly score a try. A deft pass by Stuart Thomas to evergreen Steve Gardner, backing up like a back row forward should deservedly go under the sticks, Stuart Thomas adding the conversion.
With the game finely balanced Stuart Thomas added a further penalty into the swirling wind and the scores were level with everything to play for.
With 70 minutes played controversy and confusion reigned. Firstly referee Bodily over-ruled his touch judge claiming that Stuart Thomas had kicked to touch from outside his 22 yard line, the ball going out on the full and therefore giving Keys the line-out from where Thomas allegedly kicked the ball. From the resulting throw in Keys were awarded a penalty for an infringement that nobody apart from the referee spotted. Leon Andrews stepped up and guided his kick between the posts.
Bedwas threw everything but the kitchen sink at their visitors to get back into the game. A great move by forwards and backs saw quicksilver winger Rob Suffield drop the ball, and the sterling efforts of the Bedwas players were in vain, as Keys held on. Bedwas feeling aggrieved that a poor piece of refereeing had seen at least a draw snatched from their grasp.
Bedwas coach Steve Law
‘Two poor sides, desperate for points. Mistakes by both sides contributing to scores. Ultimately a poor decision by the referee cost us a draw. I’m lost for words to be honest’
‘Bedwas versus Llandovery away is looking like a very important game for Bedwas. The boys are giving away too many points and having to play catch up rugby. You can’t survive in this league on losing bonus points alone’