2009/2010 Principality Premiership
Neath 109 v 21 Bedwas
17 April 2010 - The Gnoll, Neath

Match Report

Bedwas blitzed by Neath

NEATH  wrapped up a fifth championship in six years with a record Welsh Premiership victory.

Bedwas were the unfortunate team to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and were buried under a 17-try avalanche.

Though the Blacks suffered a blip last season, temporarily leaving Cardiff as top dogs, they have returned with a vengeance.

Neath are again setting standards and as head coach Patrick Horgan explained, the new British & Irish Cup played its part in another title-winning year.

“Narrowly losing to good teams like Bristol, Nottingham and Munster A, provided us with hard mid-season games,” he said.

“And, when we returned to the Welsh Premiership, there was a noticeable higher intensity attached to our play. We definitely took positives out of the British & Irish Cup – and that was much in evidence against Bedwas.”

In the end it was Neath’s form since the turn of the year that once more tipped the scales in their favour.

“Though we had an excellent pre-season, we lost three games during the autumn and our campaign was at the crossroads,” continued Horgan.

“But this group of players gelled after Christmas, while some key players returned at the right time.

“Though the league silverware is in the trophy cabinet, we still want to round things off properly at Ebbw Vale tomorrow – and make our mark on the play-offs.”

Tries from Wales Under-20 wing Kristian Phillips, outstanding hooker Gerwyn Price, Kiwi scrum-half Kevin Farrell and No 8 Gareth Gravell secured the bonus point inside 10 minutes.

This season’s top league scorer, wing Phillips, got four tries moving him onto the 21 mark, while a hat-trick of tries from centre Stephen Thomas gave him 50 on the all-time Premiership listing.

The Blacks were 36-7 up at the break; 71-14 to the good on the hour, while an Ashleigh James try on 79 minutes hoisted the century. Yet Bedwas could so easily have scored a fourth try to claim a bonus point if they had shown the same handling skills and composure as their opponents. Neath ran some superb angles for an all round show of skill and guile.