Bridgend RFC 10 Bedwas RFC 18
Principality Welsh Premiership, Tuesday 10 February 2009.
Match report by John Meredith, photographs by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas visited The Brewery Field, Bridgend on a cold February evening, hoping that their luck might change and a victory might come their way having had a streak of bad luck in their two previous games versus Wanderers and Llanelli. A back injury prevented Deri Mattravers from starting the game so the team was captained by Hywel Jenkins.
Bedwas began the game kicking towards the open North end of the ground. Both sides took time to settle and the opening period was largely even as both sides cancelled each other out.
Fifteen minutes into the game however, a great move by the Bedwas backs resulted in a great try for out-of-favour Dragons centre and our very own Phil Dollman, Dollman himself duly converted to put Bedwas 7 points to the good.
Bridgend fought back and came back into the game, the ball being spread between forwards and backs alike. Poor tackling by Bedwas saw Bridgend number 8, Karl Hocking the leading try scorer in Welsh Premiership history cross under the sticks. Gareth Howells added the simple conversion.
Bedwas reasserted themselves and for the remainder of the half were in the ascendency, gaining further points from a long range penalty by Phil Dollman and a good try from skilful full back Stuart Thomas. Good work by the pack, well led by Hywel Jenkins contributing to Thomas’s try, half time arriving with Bedwas leading 15 points to 7.
The second half began with Bridgend desperate to get back into the game and Bedwas under great pressure. They got their reward when Bedwas were adjudged offside and Howells took the penalty goal opportunity to pull his side to within 5 points of the visitors.
Both sides had opportunities but made mistakes, dropped balls and knock on’s symptomatic of the cold night.
Bedwas’s giant centre Luke Plummer made an excellent break from 40 metres but was tackled just short of the line. Gethin Worgans probing kick ahead just eluding the sprinting Matthew Pizey. Bedwas continued to camp on the hosts line but were unable to add a match clinching score as the clock ran down, before finally Phil Dollman added a penalty to ease the nerves of the travelling support and management alike.
Bedwas continued in the ascendancy but had a scare when centre Geoff Hobbs intercepted a pass and sprinted away only to be successfully tackled by Phil Dollman and a certain try was saved.
Bedwas will probably feel they should have had a more comfortable win, but four vital league points were more than welcome, this being the first ever win by Bedwas at the Brewery Field.
Man of the Match goes to Hywel Jenkins for a fine disciplined performance leading the pack by example, closely followed by Phil Dollman but all the players deserve a big pat on the back for gaining a great and much needed victory.