Aberavon RFC 25 Bedwas RFC 24
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 11 September 2010.
Match report by John Meredith.
Bedwas visited the Talbot Athletic Ground on Saturday, a ground that appears to hold a ‘hoodoo’ over Bedwas with no victories gained in ten visits.
Bedwas Head Coach Steve Law was forced to make two changes to his pack from last weeks epic win over Neath, with Phil Sargent and captain Kieran Crawford injured, replaced by Richard Jenkins (on debut for Bedwas) and Aaron Fowler respectively. Otherwise Bedwas were unchanged.
Bedwas began the first half kicking into a strong wind and had the best of the early exchanges. Gethin Worgan expertly landed his first successful penalty goal of the day after 10 minutes when Aberavon were penalised for a ruck offence. Two minutes later Bedwas extended their lead when incisive running from deep by Jamie Jones saw Kristian Owen run in unopposed out wide for a try, Worgan adding the conversion.
Aberavon came back into the game after 15 minutes with a penalty goal by Matthew Jarvis after Bedwas found themselves penalised at a ruck.
Bedwas were not deterred and Charlie Johnson raced in from 40 metres for a try under the sticks, converted by Worgan and Bedwas were 17-3 up with only 18 minutes played. The hosts mounted a rare attack into Bedwas territory and gained a penalty when Bedwas were penalised for being off their feet, Jarvis gratefully accepting the opportunity.
Bedwas continued to the up the ante and a brilliant break from a scrum by Deri Mattravers saw Johnson put in for his second try, Worgan stroking the conversion accurately between the sticks.
Realising their backs were against the wall Aberavon lifted their game and spread the ball wide for Jarvis to score a try he converted himself. Bedwas were up against the ropes and every refereeing decision seemed to go against them. Deep into stoppage time Bedwas were harshly penalised on their own line and a cross field kick found winger Steve Davies in space and he made no mistake in getting across the whitewash, Jarvis adding the conversion and the half ended with Bedwas holding a slender 24-20 lead.
The second half saw the hosts tear into their visitors with vigour. Both sides cancelled each other out for long periods and there were no additions to the score. Bedwas had an opportunity to increase their lead but spurned it when possession was lost with Jamie Jones in the clear, but overall Aberavon were in charge although Bedwas defended doggedly.
From a scrum Aberavon broke through. The ball broke to Ricky Thomas who went over for an unconverted try despite a blatant knock on by an Aberavon player seen by everyone bar the match officials. This spurred Bedwas to greater endeavour and they tore into their opponents without success and defended as if their lives depended on it.
Stuart Thomas had a long range penalty chance to win the game at the death for Bedwas but his kick fell short of the posts and Bedwas had to be content with a losing bonus point.
Bedwas man of the match; Scrum half Gareth Williams played superbly and looks a very astute signing.