Bedwas RFC 35 Pontypool RFC 31
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 10th October 2009.
Match report by John Meredith, photographs by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas entertained Gwent rivals Pontypool in a game that both sides knew they had to win. Bedwas head coach Steve Law describing as a ‘ten pointer’ and Pontypool seeking their first victory of the season backed up by a prediction of a ‘win by 15 points’ on the their website.
Both sides were missing key players through injury. Pontypool missing their talented back rower Cae Treherne and Bedwas influential captain Hywel Jenkins. Matthew Pizey despite not being fully match fit came in for his first start of the season as did replacement scrum half Simon Jones on the replacements bench.
Bedwas captained by Steve Gardner won the toss and elected to kick towards Caerphilly. The visitors were ‘out of the blocks’ quicker putting their hosts under early pressure but Bedwas managed to clear their lines.
Indeed Bedwas struck first with a penalty by Gethin Worgan and then followed this up with a smart drop goal by the same player. As Pontypool fought back their full back O’Driscoll saw his penalty goal attempt hit a post before he found his range to add two goals to tie up the game. Pontypool turned up the pressure and a good sweeping move saw forwards and backs combine to put winger Dan Connolly in for a try.
Bedwas responded with another penalty goal by Worgan before a great break by scrum half Tom Dickens saw him set up home winger Lee Pearson for a try, Worgan adding the extras for a 16-11 interval lead.
Bedwas came out for the second half determined to wrap up the win. Worgan adding an early penalty after Pooler were adjudged to be holding on at a ruck. Pontypool refused to lie down and lock Sam Pailor added a try, O Driscoll failing to convert.
Bedwas upped the ante again and Kristian Owen went over for a try under the sticks converted by Worgan. Bedwas sought to stretch their lead but Worgan’s penalty sailed wide before Pooler centre Dan Robinson crossed for a try, again O’Driscoll was unsuccessful with his conversion. Worgan was more successful with the boot adding a further penalty to put his side 29-21 ahead as the game went into the last quarter.
Pontypool were not going to lie down and a try by prop forward Nicky Blake, converted by O’Driscoll and a further penalty again from O’Driscoll saw the visitors edge 31-29 ahead and home supporters nerves were jangling.
Bedwas edged ahead when Worgan landed his fifth penalty of the afternoon and with time running out a good forward drive from replacement Luke Dyckhoff saw Pontypool offend at a ruck and Worgan sealed the win with his sixth penalty goal with what turned out to be the last kick of the afternoon.
Pontypool will wonder how they failed to secure their first win of the season having won the try count 4 to 2 but ultimately were made to pay for their indiscipline.
Bedwas Man of the Match Gethin Worgan who kicked superbly and controlled things from the start, having a personal tally of 25 points from six penalties, a drop goal and two conversions.