Bedwas RFC 11 Ebbw Vale RFC 12
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 27 December 2014.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
For the second successive match Bedwas were left to ponder missed opportunities that allowed their opponents back into the game to take the spoils, in what was a hard fought battle.
In front of the biggest crowd at the Bridgefield this season a strong second half earned Ebbw Vale the victory as Bedwas failed to put enough points on the board whilst dominating the first half.
With a breeze at their backs Bedwas could have been first on the board but Powell’s long range kick after just four minutes was just wide but four minutes later he made amends and put his side ahead. Both sets of forwards battled hard but couldn’t force a breakthrough. Iain Smerdon had a chance to bring Ebbw level but his penalty chance was missed before Powell added his second of the game to extend the home advantage. Bedwas continued to put the visitors under pressure but could not make the breakthrough as Ebbw defended for their lives. Just before the interval Powell missed another attempted long range penalty, a miss the home side were to rue.
Ebbw Vale came out for the second half in determined mood and their forwards began to dominate. With the visitors scrum now on top Bedwas transgressed and the referee awarded a penalty try. Smerdon adding the conversion. Suddenly the hordes of Ebbw supporters awoke too and willed on by their vociferous supporter’s winger Tom James crossed for their second try, Smerdon missing the conversion.
Bedwas made a stack of substitutions and put the visitors under pressure. Having spurned a close range penalty in favour of a scrum Bedwas were rewarded with a fine try from Arron Pinches who ran through from a great angle. Powell missed the conversion but with fifteen minutes left on the clock the game was finely balanced.
Both sides looked for that game clinching score but neither were successful and Ebbw Vale hung on for the win their second half performance deserved with Bedwas having to settle for a losing bonus point.
Bedwas will hope to put the train back on the track next Saturday when they visit Neath, kick off at the Gnoll is at 2-30pm.