Bedwas RFC 15 Pontypridd RFC 25
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 11 February 2012.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas beat the big freeze gripping South Wales but could not beat Pontypridd who ran out deserved winners.
After being ‘on the road’ since early January Bedwas were glad to finally have a home game. Phill Sargent returned from injury to captain the side, Kieran Jenkins came back at hooker, Craig Lodge in the second row and Kieron Jenkins at tight head prop in changes from the Swalec Cup match a fortnight earlier. The backs remained unchanged from that game.
Ponty set their stall out early and took the game to their hosts. Spreading the ball wide at pace they almost scored early on but Lockyer was adjudged held up and the score chalked off. It didn’t take them long to make amends and a similar attack saw the scoring open with a Sheppard try, Humberstone missing his conversion kick from out wide. They should have added another try but O’Connor went for contact instead of spreading the ball to Clayton who would surely have crossed. It was all hands to the pump at this stage as Bedwas bravely repelled all that Ponty could throw at them.
Bedwas tried to get into the game but Ponty defended well and both sides failed to get a toehold in the game and something resembling stale mate ensued. Ponty wee not to be denied and shortly before the half time Lockyer increased his sides lead with a try in a corner, again Humberstone failed to add the extras.
The task got harder for Bedwas early in the second half as Humberstone crossed for an early try, but once again he was unable to add the conversion.
It was all Ponty at this stage and good play by their backs saw flanker Jake Thomas cross for the bonus point try, Humberstone finally found his range and it seemed the game was as good as won.
Bedwas finally found some rhythm. Stuart Thomas broke and fed Cadman who made further yards before setting up Carter for a try, Powell adding the extras. Bedwas suddenly had their tails up and good work by the pack saw Stuart Thomas cross out wide. Powell missed the conversion.
Bedwas threw everything at their visitors and added a penalty after a Ponty player was sin-binned for killing the ball. The home support suddenly found their voices and for a while it looked as the most unlikely of come backs could happen.
It was not to be however as Ponty dug in and showed resilience in preventing a further score before Lewis K Williams sealed the game for them with a penalty in front of the posts.
The game ended somewhat bizarrely; Carter was sin binned after a touch judge intervened before the referee blew for time barely 30 seconds afterwards.
Bedwas Man of the Match: Stuart Thomas.