BEDWAS RFC 0 CARDIFF RFC 43
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 27 December 2008.
Match report by John Meredith, photographs by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas entertained Cardiff RFC on Christmas Saturday in front of a large holiday crowd. Cardiff full of Welsh international players, Bedwas had hoped to secure the services of Newport Gwent Dragon Phil Dollman but he was unable to play due to a ‘dead leg’ to the disappointment of the home supporters.
Bedwas kicked off towards Caerphilly with the bright winter sun in their eyes and took the game to their visitors. Indeed the Cardiff defence was under siege for the early part of the game, hardly coming out of their own half for much of the first half but crucially Bedwas were unable to turn pressure into points.
On one of the few occasions Cardiff threatened an interception by Cardiff centre Gareth Chapman saw him sprint 40 metres before being magnificently tackled by Bedwas wing Jimmy Norris one metre short of the try line, Bedwas clearing the danger.
At the other end centre Adam Hughes had two long range penalty attempts, the second of which hit an upright and Cardiff were able to clear. In the closing minutes of the half a rare Cardiff attack saw a Gareth Davies penalty goal bisect the posts to give his side a 3 points to nil lead against the run of play. Shortly before the break Cardiff second row Matthew Veater suffered a serious looking injury which eventually saw him stretchered off during the half time break.
Cardiff with a very strong replacements bench replaced Veater with former Pontypridd back rower Damien Welch. Cardiff took the game by the scruff of the neck spreading the ball wide at every opportunity, forwards and backs combining at great pace. Completely dominating the half Cardiff scored 40 unanswered points as Bedwas were blown away by power and pace. The try fest started by back rower Rhys Shellard who showed deft skills in hacking the ball on from his own charge down.
This seemed to signal a dropping of heads amongst the Bedwas troops, fleet footed Welsh international Chris Czeckaj adding a try, 70 cap grand Slam winning full back Rhys Williams scored two tries and a further tries by Craig Morgan (2) and Damien Welch all expertly converted from out wide by Lee Jarvis saw Cardiff run out 43 points to nil winners.
Whilst Bedwas never gave up Cardiff had too many aces in their side, Bedwas unable to match their pace and presence. For Bedwas Adam Brown was superb in the line out, but ultimately Cardiff were worthy winners, Bedwas needing to recover quickly before their visit to Neath to take on the current Premiership champions on Saturday 3rd January 2009.