Bedwas RFC 21 Bridgend RFC 39
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 07 January 2012.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas threw away a13 points to 0 lead with a spectacular downturn in form as Bridgend stormed back for a deserved win. After a disappointing ‘holiday season’ period and two successive defeats in Gwent derby’s Head Coach decided to bring in two new faces into the backline; full back Jamie Smith and winger Dominic Franchi; both from Gwent Dragons Academy.
The day started well for the home side as Iain Smerdon powered in for an early try, Powell adding the conversion. Bedwas were playing well at this stage and Powell added two penalties and with thirty minutes gone the home side were 13 points ahead and seemingly in charge. The first penalty goal saw Powell become the first player to score 200 points in this season’s Welsh Premiership.
Bridgend upped the ante before the break and number 8 Pitman crossed for a try, improved upon by Flanagan, before Kristian Phillips galloped 50 metres down the left hand touch line for an unconverted try. As Bridgend turned the screw Bedwas’s Grainger was sin binned for killing the ball and Flanagan added the penalty to put his side 15-13 ahead.
If Bedwas were to get back into the game they needed a good start to the second half but Bridgend stretched their lead when Powell’s weak clearance was gathered in by Habberfield who quickly moved the ball on and O’Toole crossed under the sticks, Flanagan converted.
It was all Bridgend at this stage, Flanagan extending their lead from a penalty before Nathan Edwards charged down a clearance kick and run through for a converted try, Bedwas were like a punch drunk boxer -on the ropes. Flanagan intercepted a Cadman pass for Bridgend’s 5th try of the afternoon and added the conversion for good measure and completed the scoring for the Ravens.
Bedwas rallied late with Dominic Franchi grabbing an unconverted but it was too little too late as Bridgend held on despite losing a man to the sin bin for the final four minutes.
Next Saturday 14 January Bedwas make the short trip to the Cardiff Arms Park to face the ‘Blue and Blacks’ of Cardiff RFC, kick off 2-30pm.