Bedwas RFC 29 Swansea RFC 25
Principality Welsh Premiership, Tuesday 09 November 2010.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Three tries in six frantic minutes saw Bedwas make a late surge to overcome Swansea at a wind swept, cold Bridge Field.
With the wind at their backs Bedwas made a good start as good play put prop Scott Roberts over for a try with only five minutes on the clock, Stuart Thomas’s conversion attempt sailed wide. Almost immediately Bedwas should have increased their lead. A fine 50 metre break by Elliot Foils saw Thomas in support but what should have been the try scoring pass did not go to hand and the chance was lost.
Swansea hit back with a Garland penalty before Tom Morgan crossed for an unconverted lead. Bedwas countered with a Stuart Thomas penalty goal before the Swansea team turned the screw and dominated the remaining 15 minutes of the half. Swansea scrum half Rhodri Wells having a real purple patch as he ran in a hat-trick of tries, crucially for Bedwas Nicky Harwood was only able to add the conversion on one occasion.
Stuart Thomas had the opportunity to reduce arrears just before the half time interval but his penalty attempt was wide. Swansea went into the break totally dominant leaders 25 points to 8 ahead.
The first twenty minutes of the second half produced no further scores, as Swansea appeared content to sit on their lead and Bedwas couldn’t conjure up a clear scoring opportunity.
It was all change around the hour mark as after a raft of substitutions outside half Ian Smerdon entered the fray. The seemed to give a new lease of life to the home side as Swansea suddenly found Smerdons pace difficult to live with.
The comeback started after 65 minutes with Kristian Owen crossing for a well worked try, Thomas adding the extras.
Three minutes later following swift passing by forwards and backs alike Dan Deardon crossed for a fine try, Thomas converted and Bedwas scented an unlikely win. Straight from the kick off Foils found himself in space and charging down the right flank. He opted to hack the ball on and won the chase to the line to put Bedwas 27-22 up. Stuart Thomas landed a superb conversion from out wide to the cheers of the Bedwas faithful.
Bedwas dominated the remaining 12 minutes, Stuart Thomas missing a penalty goal to make the game safe but Swansea found the home side resolute in defence and in no way were they going to sacrifice their lead as they held on for a bonus point win.
Bedwas Man of the Match: Ian Smerdon, he was only on the field for 20 minutes but completely swung the game Bedwas’s way with an exciting cameo role which Swansea had no answer for.