Bedwas RFC 25 Stirling County RFC 26
British and Irish Cup, Pool 2, Saturday 15 December 2012
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell
Bedwas’s slender hopes of progressing in the British and Irish Cup came to an end as Stirling came from behind to deservedly claim the spoils at a sodden Bridge Field.
Early drama saw Stirling outside half Stuart Edwards sin binned for an innocuous off the ball push on a Bedwas player.
Bedwas opened the scoring after 7 minutes courtesy of a try in the corner from Matthew Pewtner after Stuart Thomas made a great break from his own half. Ethan Davies’s conversion hit a post.
From the restart Wardle’s fine run deserved a try but he was tackled just short of the line and the ball was cleared to touch. Stirling won the lineout and spread the ball for centre Mark Bennett to score a well worked try. Bennett’s conversion attempt also hit a post. From the restart Budina set off on a run down the home left only to be tackled just short of the line. Stirling launched a counter attack and were rewarded with a penalty for holding on which Stuart Edwards kicked.
Bedwas upped the pressure and good work by the forwards saw the visiting pack driven buckle at a close range scrum and a penalty try awarded, Davies conversion successful.
Ross Wardle extended Bedwas’s lead after 33 minutes after good work by Budina but again the conversion was missed. Edwards added a penalty after Bedwas were adjudged offside to take the score to 17-11 at the interval.
Edwards added another penalty after 45 minutes to reduce the arrears to just three points before Pewtner added his second try. Stuart Thomas who took over kicking from the injured Ethan Davies (who didn’t appear for the second half) missed his kick. Thomas made amends five minutes later with a successful penalty goal to put Bedwas 25-14 ahead with 25 minutes left, after Stirling were adjudged to have collapsed a scrum.
Stirling refused to lie down and following a penalty Reyner Kennedy was driven over for an unconverted try to put Stirling within six points of their hosts.
Bedwas had an opportunity to extend their lead but Thomas’s penalty attempt went wide before Budina attempted to latch onto a Thomas hack through the ball going dead.
Stirling scented victory and camped in the home 25 with four minutes left centre Danny Gilmour broke through to score under the sticks. Edwards added the simple conversion and Stirling celebrated a fine comeback.
Next weekend Bedwas are back in Principality Premiership action and visit St Helens to take on Swansea, kick off 2-30pm. On Boxing Day Bedwas entertain Bridgend at the Bridge Field, kick off 2-30pm.