Newport RFC 17 Bedwas RFC 16
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 25 September 2010.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell.
In a game of two halves Bedwas let slip a 10 points to nil half time advantage to give Newport the honours in a typical gritty Gwent derby.
Bedwas made several injury enforced changes from the side that beat Cardiff last week. Jake Cooper started at tight head prop, James Murphy at lock, Gareth Williams limped off last week so James Pizey starts at scrum half with second team coach Simon Jones offering cover on the bench. Both first choice outside halves are injured so it was a Bedwas debut for Ian Smerdon on permit from Bedlinog. Ross Wardle made his first start at centre replacing Charlie Johnson.
Bedwas started the brighter and took the game to their hosts, forcing them into mistakes. Bedwas opened the scoring on 10 minutes when Stuart Thomas kicked a penalty from the half way line. Bedwas attacked at every opportunity and increased their lead when a break from his own half by Stuart Thomas was finished off out wide by Elliot Foils, Thomas adding an excellent conversion.
It was all Bedwas for most of the half but they were not able to finish off what dominance they had, and with Newport in disarray this was ultimately to be costly.
The second half Bedwas continued as they had left off, Stuart Thomas missing a long range penalty and also wide with a drop goal attempt before slotting a shot after 50 minutes to put his side 13-0 ahead.
Newport got back into the game from a penalty kick to touch. Claiming line out ball on their own throw the ball was put through the hands before Gethin Robinson ploughed over for a try, Robling converting.
Newport found themselves in the ascendancy as Bedwas began to wilt. Replacement Robling added a further penalty after 68 minutes with Bedwas down to 14 men with Coundley in the sin bin for retaliation.
Newport seized the moment and winger Jamie Davies crossed for a try, Robling adding the extras to put his side 17-13 ahead. Bedwas fought back and Thomas added a further penalty to set up a tense finish. Just before the end Foils made a great run down the right wing, however he elected to pass inside to the supporting Coundley instead of backing his pace and the chance was lost.
The game ended with Bedwas on the attack, replacement Tom Cooper at the heart of a Bedwas attack when the referee harshly penalised Bedwas for ‘crossing’, Newport kicking the resulting penalty to touch and the referee blew for time
Star Man Stuart Thomas