Bedwas RFC 25 Newport RFC 28
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 8th January 2011.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell
Sixth placed Bedwas took on seventh place Gwent rivals Newport who arrived with a strong looking side. Bedwas were led out by Brendan Lampitt and in changes to the team that beat Cardiff last time out Ryan Owen (who has been on loan at Newport) returned on the wing, Jake Cooper at tight head and Rob Carter at open side flanker.
A mistake by Bedwas at the kick off saw Newport immediately on the attack and Aled Brew went over wide out, Bowen missing the conversion.
Bedwas hit back and Ian Smerdon crossed following weak Newport defence in midfield, the try being unconverted. Two Gareth Bowen penalties put Newport ahead again, after Bedwas were adjudged offside only for Thomas to land a penalty to bring Bedwas to within three points and end a breathless first quarter of the game. Bedwas had a chance to close the gap but Thomas angled kick was wide.
Newport resisted everything Bedwas could create and then broke for a try from their own 25 by Brew, converted by Bowen. Stuart Thomas added a further penalty before Brew added his third try of the half converted by Bowen for 25-11 half time lead, Bedwas down to 14 men as Jamie Jones was sin binned for an aggressive tackle.
Bedwas came out for the second half fired up. Within the first minute of the half Newport’s Brew was sin binned for a slapping down what appeared to be a Bedwas try scoring pass but Thomas’s penalty hit an upright.
Not deterred Bedwas went back on the attack and prop Cooper buried over for a try clinically converted by Thomas from out wide. It was all Bedwas at this stage and spreading the ball wide saw Stuart Thomas cross for a try he converted from the touchline, and within nine minutes of the restart were levelled.
Bedwas continued to attack and supporters felt the referee made an error adjudging a Bedwas scrum had wheeled around and the subsequent reversal of the put in gave the visitors a chance to clear. However Newport held out before Bowen slotted a penalty after to put his side ahead with what proved to be the decisive score as Bedwas ran out of time and ideas and had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Bedwas Man of the Match:
Jake Cooper scrummaged magnificently and worked hard in the loose. He scored a debut try on his return to the side to cap a good day for the young prop forward.