Aberavon RFC 38 Bedwas RFC 10
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 28 February 2009.
Match report by John Meredith, photographs by Ian Lovell.
Following a break for the Six Nations tournament Bedwas visited the Talbot Athletic ground, home of Aberavon RFC. Always a hard place to win, Bedwas hoped to continue their run of recent form.
Bedwas started well and after only four minutes Stuart Thomas scored a superbly worked try under the sticks, the quickest try of Bedwas’s season thus far. Thomas himself duly added the simple conversion and Bedwas were 7 points ahead.
Aberavon hit back using their huge pack to make inroads into the Bedwas defence. Outside half Jamie Davies found his range and successfully slotted two penalty kicks. Bedwas didn’t lie down but Aberavon looked dangerous on the break and scored a long range try for lightning fast wing Richard Carter, successfully converted by Jamie Davies to put the home side 13 points to 7 ahead.
Bedwas fought back and a good break by Deri Mattravers was illegally stopped short of the line by home centre Luke Hathaway who duly spent ten minutes in the sin bin. Many Bedwas supporters felt a penalty try should have been awarded, and felt even more aggrieved when the side opted to run the penalty and a home defender appeared to slap down a try scoring pass which escaped sanction save a scrum.
Aberavon survived the pressure and then the visitors found themselves down to 14 men as Hywel Jenkins was seemingly harshly penalised for not rolling away on the halfway line. Jamie Davies added the resulting penalty goal to put the home side 16 points to 7 ahead at half time.
Aberavon came out for the second half in determined mood and earnt another penalty goal to lead 19 points to 10. Bedwas didn’t give up but their only reward was a further Stuart Thomas penalty goal. Aberavon upped the ante and ran in a further three tries, two of which were converted for a 38 points to 10 bonus point victory.
The Bedwas supporters present voted Stuart Thomas man of the match, closely followed by Deri Mattravers, and whilst all accepted the better side on the day won many felt referee Neil Ballard had a poor day at the office.