Bedwas RFC 22 Neath RFC 21
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 04 September 2011
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell
‘An heroic performance by every single Bedwas player today saw us gain a deserved win’ were the words of Bedwas head coach Steve Law after his side saw Stuart Thomas drop a last gasp goal for a deserved victory over a shell shocked Neath team.
Bedwas got off to great start as within two minutes Neath were adjudged offside and Gethin Worgan confidently slotted his kick through the posts.
Neath tried to hit back and lost possession to allow Bedwas back at them. From a set scrum number 8 peeled of and drove through weak tacking to score out wide, Worgan adding the extra two points. It was all Bedwas at this stage as Neath found themselves on the back foot. Neath’s backline cracked under pressure and were again adjudged offside, Worgan putting Bedwas 13-0 up.
Neath finally found some fluency and gained a penalty for hands in the ruck on 20 minutes kicked by Langdon. Bedwas came back and almost scored another try but the slightest of knock-on’s saw them denied, the lead nearly increased but Worgan’ penalty attempt drifted wide. On 30 minutes Langdon added a further penalty, and after a sweeping move were denied a certain try by an excellent Williams tackle.
Bedwas fought for every ball and had an opportunity to extend their lead on the stroke of half time but Worgan’s penalty was agonisingly wide.
The second half began as the first half had ended, Worgan missing another kick at goal. Neath reduced the deficit with a Langdon penalty goal on 50 minutes. Bedwas were in no mood to surrender and Neath gave away another penalty to put his side 16-9 up.
Neath came back and prop forward Lott came up with a try following a driving maul, replacement McCarthy missing the conversion from out wide.
Both sides continued to tear into each other and as Bedwas attacked the visitors try line gained another penalty for hands in the ruck, converted by Worgan for a 19-14 lead after 75 minutes.
It looked as though Bedwas had ‘blown it’ when replacement scrum half Tom James dived over for a try after 78 minutes, McCarthy slotting the ensuing conversion, Bedwas were behind for the first time in the game.
Bedwas countered and Worgan’s drop goal attempt was charged down but crucially kept possession and Stuart Thomas was set up for a last minute drop goal to seal a famous victory for Bedwas and set up scenes of elation in the home supporters.
Bedwas Men of the Match: Sam Feehan and Phil Sargent were outstanding, the coaches could not separate them.