Newport RFC 28 Bedwas RFC 54
Fosters Challenge Cup, Wednesday 18 February 2016.
Match report by Chris Kirwan (South Wales Argus).
Photography with grateful thanks to Simon Latham. Simon's photos of the game can be see here: https://flickr.com/photos/63032848@N00/sets/72157664846521825
BEDWAS have qualified for the semi-finals of the Foster’s Challenge Cup as Gwent group winners thanks to a 54-28 victory against Newport.
Steve Law’s side ran in seven tries at the Dragons’ training base in Ystrad Mynach to take their Pool C tally to an unassailable 21 points and secure a spot in the last four.
The Black and Ambers, who had switched the fixture to the plastic pitch to take the strain off Rodney Parade ahead of Saturday’s key Principality Premiership fixture with Bridgend, ran in four scores themselves in a high-scoring affair.
Newport are eliminated and can now concentrate on their push for the play-offs, although they face one more home fixture in the development competition against Cross Keys on March 1.
Bedwas were out of the blocks rapidly and led 24-0 after a quarter thanks to tries by lock Robson Blake, flanker Nathan Hudd and centre Connor Edwards.
Newport rallied through fly-half Arwel Robson and tight head Alex Jeffries to reduce the deficit to 24-14 at the break.
Centre Gabriel Davies secured a bonus point for Bedwas swiftly after the restart to secure a bonus point only for centre Barney Nightingale to respond for the ‘hosts’.
Bedwas secured the spoils through Davies and back row Sam Feehan before a try each in the closing stages, flanker James Sawyer for the group winners and fly-half Matt O’Brien for the Black and Ambers.
Keys could yet join Bedwas in the knockout stages if they beat both the men from Bridge Field and Rodney Parade to overtake Cardiff (18 points) as the runners-up with the best points tally. Carmarthen Quins (19 points) and Pontypridd (22 points) won the other groups.