Bedwas RFC 13 Pontypridd RFC 18
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 03 September 2016
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Pontypridd edged a tight contest played in near monsoon conditions at times as they took the chances they created which, in contrast, Bedwas did not.
The game took time to come to life but a break by Ceri Sweeney put winger Lewis Williams in through a huge gap in the Bedwas defence to open the scoring; Sweeney’s conversion attempt flying wide.
Bedwas hit back straight from the restart after the visitors were adjudged offside in front of their posts, Richard Powell calmly slotted the ball through the uprights.
Both sides tried to play rugby but the conditions made life tricky and all either sides could muster was a penalty a piece for first Sweeney and the Powell.
Bedwas back row James Benjamin made a great break but his pass to the supporting player failed to find the hands and what looked an odds on try scoring opportunity was lost.
The visitors extended their lead further following a line out deep in the Bedwas half the ball finding its way to full back Aled Summerhill to dash in for a try, Sweeney again missing the conversion.
Bedwas’ task became harder six minutes before the interval as lock forward Geraint Edmunds found himself sin binned for tripping an opponent. From the ensuing penalty Pontypridd pushed for the line and their captain Dafydd Lockyer came close to scoring before being dragged into touch.
Bedwas responded in the best possible way. The ball was moved across the line to centre Connor Edwards to crash over in the right hand corner, Powell expertly kicking the conversion with the last kick of the half to see the scores tied at 13 points each.
At the start of the half the unrelenting rain made conditions difficulty and both sides struggled to maintain any cohesion as possession was turned over on frequent occasions.
Ponty finally broke the deadlock on the hour as Sweeney’s pinpoint kick across field was gratefully gathered by Alex Webber who ran through for a try. Sweeney again missed the conversion.
Bedwas introduced a host of replacements to try and salvage the game but the Pontypridd defence stood up to defy them.
Late in the game Bedwas captain Richard Powell was sin binned for back chat as his team set up a series of raids on the visitors defence. Fortunately for Bedwas Sweeney’s penalty kick (which would have seen his sides lead grow to more than eight points and thus deprive Bedwas a losing bonus point) went wide.
An interception by Garyn Payne saw him run through but he was hunted down short of the try line and again Bedwas rued a missed opportunity.
Deep into stoppage time Bedwas camped on the Pontypridd try line as the visitors adopted a siege mentality to repel everything Bedwas through at them. The visiting defence conceded three penalties in quick succession close to the try line and it was only on the third penalty the referee chose to sinbin a Pontypridd player. It could be argued that this sanction should have been used sooner but nevertheless Bedwas couldn’t break through and Ponty held on to the delight of their travelling support.
Bedwas will look to regroup ahead of the challenge next week as they travel to Rodney Parade, Newport on Sunday 11th September, kick off 2-30pm.