Pontypridd RFC 52 Bedwas RFC 32
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 23rd April 2016.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
A Mathew John hat-trick and a superb individual try from Mike Callow earned Bedwas a bonus point but errors led to at least three of Pontypridd tries.
A sunny, spring afternoon greeted the players at Sardis Road and it was Bedwas who were first on the scoreboard courtesy of a James Dixon penalty after two minutes. Neither side created much in the first quarter.
The game came to life as Ponty’s second row Chris Dicomidis was sin binned and Bedwas quickly took advantage as Mathew John ran through to ground in the corner. James Dixon’s conversion went wide.
Ponty were soon level. Taking play through the middle they created an overlap to provide the space for winger Dale Stuckey to score in the corner. Ceri Sweeney added the conversion and the sides were level.
With the clock ticking down to half time it was Bedwas’ turn to be a man short as replacement Adam Williams was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on a Pontypridd pass and subsequently spent 10 minutes on the side lines. Ponty being back to full complement piled on the pressure and a missed tackle close to the posts saw Stuckey in for his second try, again converted by Sweeney.
Early in the second half the home side increased their advantage as winger Chris Clayton powered through for his sides third try, Sweeney unsuccessful with his conversion this time.
Bedwas battled back and a fine individual try by Mike Callow who beat off several would be tacklers to cross, Dixon’s conversion reduced the deficit further.
Ponty responded by laying siege on the Bedwas try line and the pressure eventually told as Dicomidis stretched out to score a try improved upon by Sweeney and a bonus point was in the bag for the home side.
Seb Davies added a try converted by Sweeny to increase the home sides lead before a kick through by Sweeney caused confusion in the Bedwas defence and somehow the ball found its way back to Sweeney from a pair of Bedwas hands and he duly crossed a try.
Pontypridd were in full flow and as a Bedwas attack floundered the loose ball quickly found its way to Dale Stuckey and he sprinted 80 metres down the flank through a couple of weak Bedwas tackles to cross for a try, replacement Lewis K Williams added the extras. This win sees Pontypridd as Welsh Premiership champions for the sixth successive season and also earns them a home tie in the play off final.
Bedwas were not finished and good work by Mathew John to cross for two tries both converted by Dixon saw them gain a bonus point for four tries, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ as they say.
Bedwas complete their season with a short trip to Cross Keys on Tuesday 26 April, kick off 7-15pm.