Bedwas RFC 35 Cross Keys 12
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 27 February 2010.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell
Bedwas earnt a bonus point win in a typical uncompromising Gwent derby. Hywel Jenkins returned to lead the side; also returning was Steve Gardner, keen as ever to try putting one over his old colleagues from Pandy Park.
Keys started the brighter and were unlucky not to score but their winger knocked on over the line. From the resultant scrum Bedwas were penalised for taking the scrum down, Keys opted for a further scrum and number 8 Jevon Groves was driven over for a try, Gareth David adding the extras to put his side 7 points to nil ahead.
Bedwas fought back and following a good touch finding penalty from Greendale were awarded a further penalty which Greendale struck sweetly to haul Bedwas back into the game. Bedwas were in the ascendancy at this stage and Greendale added a smart drop goal to bring Bedwas within a point of their visitors. Keys hit back, gaining a penalty but Gareth David was wide of the target.
The turning point of the game when Cross Keys second row Colin Bridges was shown a straight red card for an alleged stamp after 28 minutes. Bedwas sensed this was the opportunity to up the ante and following a period of pressure on the Keys line the ball was spread wide for Stuart Thomas to go over in the corner. Greendale converted from a tight angle and Bedwas reached half time 13 points to 7 up.
Bedwas started the second half where they had finished the first half. A break by Stuart Thomas saw Thomas impeded and referee Martyn Lewis had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try. Keys heads appeared to drop as Bedwas began to get the upper head and good work by Matthew Pizey saw Kristian Owen score a try. Keeping up the pressure Bedwas gained a valuable bonus point for the fourth try when Pizey himself crossed. The latter try went unconverted but the win was secured.
Keys battle vainly and had the last say when prop Julian Price was bundled over for a last minute try but Bedwas had gained a morale boosting first league win of 2010 to the relief of spectators and management alike.