Bedwas RFC 41 Aberavon RFC 26
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 05 January 2013.
Match report by John Meredith, photography by Ian Lovell
The term ‘a game of two halves’ is a well used cliché but its use is certainly apt to describe this game.
With Richard Powell still out injured and Ethan Davies attending Wales under 20 training Bedwas bought in Dean Gunter, on permit from Cross Keys.
Aberavon arrived at Bedwas having only won one game all season (in the reverse fixture to this one) but the caught the home side cold after taking the lead with less than two minutes elapsed when Sam Williams charged through several tackles and crossed for a try, converted by Craig Evans. They doubled their lead five minutes later with a try out wide by Stef Andrews, Evans again converted.
Bedwas were struggling to get out of their own half such was Aberavon’s stranglehold on the game, even when the visitors went down to 14 men following Ben Thomas’s sin binning Bedwas could not use the extra man to assert any pressure. When Bedwas did have possession they made too many unforced errors and could not build any momentum.
Towards the end of the half it was all Aberavon but Bedwas defended resolutely to keep out wave after wave of attacks before the visitors conceded a penalty. Stuart Thomas took a quick tap and sprinted 50 metres before releasing Rory Budina to score under the sticks, Dean Gunter added the conversion right on the half time whistle.
With the wind at their backs for the second half it took Budina less than 90 seconds to run in his second try after Bedwas moved the ball wide following Kyle Maiden winning good line out ball. Gunter was unsuccessful with the conversion.
Stuart Thomas made another break into Aberavon territory before the ball was worked to the left wing and Matthew John crossed for a try, Gunter converting. Three minutes later another blistering Bedwas attack at pace saw Gunter cross for a try out wide, although his conversion was unsuccessful.
Aberavon struggled to find an answer to Bedwas’s incisive back play and two tries on 63 and 65 minutes (both converted by Gunter) by Pewtner and a third for Budina respectively meant that Bedwas had scored 38 unanswered points to put the game beyond Aberavon.
Aberavon didn’t give up and scored an unconverted try through Gareth Harvey. Bedwas made absolutely certain of the win with a 78th minute penalty by Gunter after the visitors were penalised for holding on in front of the posts. Aberavon found time for a fourth try as Gareth Ronan crossed for a try and gained his side a valuable bonus point.
Next Saturday (12 January) Bedwas entertain Neath in their final home pool match in the British and Irish Cup, kick off 2-30pm