Bedwas RFC 20 Neath RFC 28
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 03 September 2011.
Match report by John Meredith, photographs by Ian Lovell
A last minute penalty from Neath’s James Thomas cruelly denied Bedwas a losing bonus point in this first Principality Welsh Premiership match of the new season. Three Bedwas players made their debuts, back rower Simon Grainger, scrum half Rory Wood and winger Tom Watkins.
Neath were always ahead in the game and took the lead after 7 minutes through a Langdon penalty from in front of the posts after Bedwas were penalised for a hand in at a ruck. Langdon added a further penalty after 10 minutes after Bedwas were adjudged offside.
Bedwas tried to get into the game and created space from the restart but knocked on and from the scrum Neath cleared the danger. Neath tackling stifled what little the home side could conjure up, Bedwas missed too many tackles and were on the back foot. It was no surprise when a third Langdon penalty increased his side’s advantage after 20 minutes.
Neath kept up the pressure, looking dangerous with ball in hand and Bedwas living off scraps. A Langdon drop goal increased their lead on 35 minutes. Bedwas’s Powell made a great break probably which should have seen him cross the white wash, but Neath turned defence into attack and a smart break out saw fullback Alec Jenkins cross out wide, Langdon adding the conversion before Powell added a penalty for Bedwas for a 3-19 half time score.
Bedwas reduced arrears early in the second half through Powell’s boot before both kickers missed with penalty chances, although Langdon refound his range shortly afterwards after Bedwas were adjudged to have wheeled a scrum.
Bedwas upped the momentum and were rewarded with a Tom Watkins try following a break by Kristian Owen, Powell added the conversion. Neath replacement Thomas added a penalty goal before a brilliant individual try by Bedwas’s Richard Powell who added the conversion bought the score to 20-25 in stoppage time, and the home faithful sniffed the chance of a possible win or a losing bonus point for finishing within 7 points.
It was not to be however, as Neath had the final say. Bedwas were penalised at a ruck and James Thomas stepped up to kick the resulting penalty with the last kick of the game and Bedwas were left to rue their mistakes
BEDWAS Man of the Match: