Llanelli RFC 37 Bedwas RFC 42
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 17 January 2015.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
In his programme notes Llanelli Chairman Meurig Griffiths said “Rugby at this level is a lot better to watch than regional rugby at times, the entertainment value is superb, it’s a shame more people don’t attend these games.” How right he was as both sides played their part in an eleven try thriller with Bedwas emerging victors for the first time at Parc y Scarlets, watched by only 200 spectators.
Llanelli’s fly half Josh Lewis opened the scoring after three minutes with a long range penalty after Bedwas were penalised at a ruck. He missed a similar long range penalty shortly afterwards after Bedwas were again penalised at a ruck, this one barely two metres into the Bedwas half.
Bedwas settled down and a great break led by Harley Thomson from deep in his own half saw Arron Pinches cross for a try, Powell unsuccessful with the conversion. Powell added a penalty after 15 minutes to increase the Bedwas lead before home winger Frazier Climo burst through a gap for a try, converted by Lewis to put the his side back in front.
Powell added a second penalty for Bedwas before the home side scored their second try following a deft kick chase scrum half Justin James won the foot race to the line. Lewis added the conversion.
Bedwas rose to the challenge and two tries in four minutes by Harley Thomson and Ashton Hewitt the latter converted from the touchline by Powell put Bedwas back in the lead. Lewis added his second penalty of the afternoon on the stroke of half time to close the gap to three points.
Bedwas were quickly out of the blocks in the second half Rory Budina was on the end of a flowing move to score in the corner, converted by Powell with barely two minutes of the half elapsed. Bedwas continued to attack and diminutive scrum half Luke Crane ducked and weaved through several tackles before dotting down under the sticks. Powell easily adding the conversion.
Llanelli were not finished and outside half Josh Lewis scored a lovely try he created himself by throwing a huge dummy and speeding through the resulting gap, he added the conversion himself.
Bedwas made a raft of changes around the hour mark which paid dividends when veteran Number 8 charged through for a try after 67 minutes to settle Bedwas nerves.
Llanelli were on the ropes but mounted a big effort to salvage something from the game and threw caution to the wind expertly keeping the ball alive. They were rewarded by two unconverted tries from replacements; firstly back rower Tom Phillips and the back Adam Williams crossed to set up a nerve jangling last five minutes. Llanelli continued to attack and a match clinching try looked a possibility but Bedwas dug in and defended for the lives to emerge deserved winners.
Next Saturday (24 January) Bedwas host local rivals Cross Keys, kick off 2-30pm.