Bedwas RFC 30 Llanelli RFC 23
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 5th September 2009.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell.
On the second Saturday of the season Bedwas entertained Llanelli hoping to kick start their season after last weeks defeat by Neath. Bedwas were without James Pizey who looks likely to be out for the season with ligament damage, he will be greatly missed. Club Captain Hywel Jenkins also missed the game with a neck injury.
Bedwas were led out by the evergreen Deri Mattravers and played the first half playing into a stiff breeze. The home side took the game to their opponents, but Llanelli had the first opportunity after Bedwas were adjudged offside in midfield but Luke Richards missed the opportunity from 35 metres. Richards made amends minutes later slotting through the posts following good driving play from his colleagues.
From the restart Bedwas lock Jamie Murphy was adjudged to have tackled his opposite number in the air and found himself sin binned, Richards once again taking the opportunity to stretch his teams advantage.
Llanelli were well on top at this stage, putting Bedwas on the back foot by playing an expansive 15 man game.
Bedwas hit back when Stuart Thomas’s penalty kick was gathered in by Llanelli full back Shingler, who was adjudged to have to held on the floor and Gethin Worgan stepped up to claim the three points.
Both sides looked to move the ball wide at every opportunity but Llanelli stretched their lead with an excellent individual try under the sticks by winger Ford, Richards adding the extras.
Bedwas responded with a well struck penalty from Worgan before poor tackling from the home side saw rangy back rower McCusker charge through for a fine try, Richards once again converting.
Worgan added another penalty as Bedwas reached half time 9 points to 20 adrift to a rampant Llanelli side.
Bedwas knew they had a battle on their hands to get back into the game against a side that attacked at every opportunity. Home winger Hitchings made a good break before being hauled just short of the try line. Richards’ tackle being adjudged unfair by the referee and the Llanelli pivot trudged off for 10 minutes. Worgan slotted the resultant penalty kick and Bedwas sensed this was their moment. Lock Murphy charged through for a try, Worgan’s conversion coming back off an upright but Bedwas were right back in the mix. Richards came back from his sin binning to kick a further Llanelli penalty and put his side further ahead.
Bedwas were not going to be denied. A magnificent solo try from man of the match Deri Mattravers following a strong run from 30 metres out converted by Worgan and Bedwas were ahead 24-23 for the first time in the match. Bedwas continued to press for the match clinching points and these eventually came their way courtesy of two Worgan penalties to give Bedwas a hard earned 30-23 victory against a very skilful Llanelli side.
Llanelli outside half Luke Richards
‘It was a game of two halves. We are a young side and I am the eldest in there! Bedwas are always a tough nut to crack for us; they just about deserved their win today. Best of luck to them it’s going to be physically tough this season for everyone.’