Pontypridd RFC 34 Bedwas RFC 26
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 22 October 2011.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell
Bedwas dominated the first half and build up a fair lead only to concede a last play interception try to take away a losing bonus point-the very least they deserved for their efforts.
Bedwas made a few changes from last weeks win over Llandovery with Robert Carter returning to the back row, Sam Feehan moving to number 8 in place of the rested Deri Mattravers. In the front row Kieron Jenkins returned from Dragons duty and started his 100th match for Bedwas-congratulations Kieron.
Bedwas took an early lead courtesy of a first minute Richard Powell penalty before the home side hit back when prop James Howe crossed for a try after 3 minutes, Gunter adding the conversion.
Bedwas clawed their way back into the game courtesy of another Richard Powell penalty and thereafter began to dominate the game.
Richard Powell finished off a fine move to score a try to the left of the post with 14 minutes gone before adding the conversion as Bedwas eased 13-7 ahead.
With three minutes of the half remaining Ponty outside half Gunter reduced the deficit with a penalty goal before Bedwas mounted an attack and Ian Smerdon added a smart goal. In injury time Bedwas extended their lead via a Phill Sargent try which Powell improved for a 10 points to 23 advantage.
The second half started well for Bedwas and Powell extended the lead with another well taken penalty goal. However Ponty began to up the pressure following a reshuffle in their ranks. Suddenly Bedwas were on the back foot and following several ruck offences and with the home crowd baying for blood referee Rhys Thomas finally lost patience with the home side and Kieran Crawford was yellow-carded for a ruck offence after 54 minutes.
The numerical advantage told, first centre Dafydd Lockyer crossed, quickly followed by wing Chris Clayton as Bedwas shorn of a man saw their energy levels sap away. Dean Gunter added both conversions and a penalty goal as a 14 point deficit became a one point lead.
Restored to their full compliment Bedwas battled hard for a break through but the home side resolutely held fast. Richard Powell had a late chance to put Bedwas ahead but his penalty drifted across the goal.
Bedwas still looked capable of finding a winning score and threw the proverbial kitchen sink at the home side. But then came the sucker punch as Richard Powell’s long pass was intercepted by Ponty winger Owen Williams who raced clear for a try under the sticks, Gunter added the conversion before referee Thomas blew for time. What would have been a deserved losing bonus point for Bedwas disappeared to leave Bedwas management, players and supporters distraught.
Next Saturday (29 October) sees Bedwas start a cycle of three successive home fixtures when