Bedwas RFC 21 Cardiff RFC 34
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 18 April 2015.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Any hopes Bedwas had for a top four finish were blown away by a clinical first half performance by the visitors.
On a sunny but windy afternoon any late comers would have missed the first try. Bedwas claimed the ball from kick off and after running the ball across field Harley Thomson crossed for a try within one minute of the start. Richard Powell’s conversion hit a post but rebounded between the posts.
Cardiff came roaring back and with the strong wind at their backs two James Whittingham penalties put them back into the contest.
Centre Will Rees-Hole crossed for the visitors converted by Whittingham after 18 minutes put them ahead before scrum half Mike Hale took advantage of poor Bedwas defence to score a try; Whittingham again adding the extras.
Shell shocked Bedwas looked for a response but Cardiff defended well before Bedwas hit the self-destruct button. The Bedwas forwards edged close to the visitors line through a series of pick and drive’s before the ball was launched across the back line. A Powell pass was picked off by Cardiff centre Richard Smith who sprinted the 80 metres to touch down under the sticks. Whittingham easily added the conversion.
Two Richard Powell penalties in the run up to half time reduced the deficit to fourteen points at the break and left the home crowd wondering if their team could use the wind in the second half as well as Cardiff had done in the first.
They got their answer after 50 minutes when a good break by Mike Callow was rewarded with a try for the supporting Lewis Hudd, Powell’s conversion again hitting a post but this time bouncing the wrong side of the uprights.
With the deficit reduced to nine points both sides looked for a way through but defences held out. Powell and Whittingham both missed penalty attempts. Bedwas plugged away looking for an opening and despite the introduction of fresh legs the breakthrough could not be conjured up.
Despite Bedwas dominating the possession stats the sucker punch came on 72 minutes when Cardiff centre Richard Smith exploited a huge gap in the home defence to cross for a match clinching try, Whittingham added the conversion.
Next Saturday (25th April) Bedwas conclude their season when Neath visit the Bridge Field, kick off at 2-30pm.