Bedwas RFC 35 Llandovery RFC 34
Principality Welsh Premiership, Wednesday 14 April 2010.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas entertained Llandovery in a re-arranged match following the postponement of the original fixture hoping to avenge the narrow defeat at Church Bank a fortnight previously.
Bedwas made a few changes from the previous game against Carmarthen Quins, notably Dan Dearden in for Matt Pizey who was unavailable and Matthew Pettit starting in the front row in place of Keiron Jenkins. Hywel Jenkins retained the captain’s armband.
Llandovery started off on the front foot but any danger was cleared from a set scrum by Tom Edwards. It was, however, Bedwas who notched the first points of the night, Adam Greendale firing over a penalty after 13 minutes as the Drovers were adjudged off side at a ruck.
Llandovery hit back straight from kick off with number 8 Lloyd Phillips galloping over for a well worked try, Cerith Rees adding the conversion. The visiting back showed excellent pace which Bedwas struggled to cope with and after 18 minutes scrum half Gareth James crossed for a try, again converted by Rees for a 14 points to 3 lead.
Greendale added a 20th minute penalty to bring Bedwas back into the game but at this stage the visitors were well in the ascendancy and Bedwas living off Drovers mistakes. Greendale added a further penalty after 25 minutes following foul play by the Drovers number 8 Phillips. The Bedwas pack appeared to just have the edge on their opponents and good driving play saw winger Dearden cross out wide, Greendale off target with the conversion. Bedwas had their tails up and Stuart Thomas jinked through from 35 metres out and past 4 players for a great try converted by Greendale.
The Drovers countered and powerhouse centre Ajuwa looked a threat with ball in hand and Bedwas had to defend, but counter attacked to earn a penalty which Greendale slotted after 38 minutes. With the clock ticking down towards half time Llandovery added a penalty goal through Rees following an alleged high tackle which saw Hywel Jenkins in the sin bin and the teams went into half time leading 24-17.
Shorn of a forward Bedwas began the second half looking to stop the Drovers scoring. Greendale added a 44th minute penalty after the visitors back line were caught offside.
The Llandovery backs looked to run the ball at pace at every opportunity but despite being under pressure the Bedwas defence held firm. The home defence was breached after 50 minutes when Lloyd Phillips added his second try of the night but Rees missed the conversion. Not to be denied Bedwas hit straight back as within 10 minutes Hywel Jenkins drove over for an unconverted try to put Bedwas 32-22 ahead.
Rees had a chance to pull a penalty kick after 64 minutes after Bedwas were adjudged offside at a ruck but his kick sailed wide. Llandovery pounded the home 25 but following a penalty for Bedwas again being offside, a lineout was won and Dean Fitzgerald crossed for a try converted by Rees. The drovers threw everything at Bedwas and were rewarded with a try by Soul, crucially Rees missed the conversion but his side were 34-32 ahead.
Bedwas had time for a final ‘hurrah’ and earnt a penalty straight in front of the sticks after the visitors were adjudged offside, Greendale stroked over the resulting kick and referee Fear blew for full time to the delight of the home support.