Cardiff RFC 23 Bedwas RFC 28
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 07 January 2016.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas entered the last game before the league splits in two assured of their place in the top eight; not so their hosts who knew only a win for themselves and for Ebbw Vale to slip up at home to Cross Keys would be enough.
Bedwas did more than enough to win and as it turns out this bonus point victory sees them finish in second place after Pontypridd and Merthyr both lost.
The game started at a fast pace and Cardiff took an early lead via a Gareth Thompson penalty. Cardiff dominated possession but wrong options and handling errors saw them gain no further points.
Once Bedwas found their rhythm they got over the whitewash. A great break by Adam Williams saw him run through a gap from 40 yards out to cross for a try. James Dixon added the extras.
Cardiff notched their first try as Cam Dolan crossed following sustained pressure, Thompson converted to put his side back ahead but Bedwas re-focused and took the game to their hosts.
It was all Bedwas for a while as another Williams break saw him hauled down five metres from the try line and on the other flank Matthew John was denied by a last gasp tackle. James Dixon’s accurate grubber kick looked to have put in Patric Lewis but the ball bounced over the wingers head and into touch.
The second Bedwas try came on the stroke of half time as a Cardiff scrum was shunted backwards at high speed and Number 8 Robson Blake was last up off the whitewash to claim the try, Dixon again converted.
There was still time for a last-kick-of-the-half penalty by Thompson and half time arrived with Bedwas holding a one point advantage.
Bedwas increased their lead after 49 minutes after winning a line out Geraint Edmunds glided over through a static defence for a try, Dixon adding the extras.
Just before the hour and Blake’s second try of the afternoon, again scored through excellent work by his forwards’ colleagues earned Bedwas a four try bonus point.
Judging the game to be won Bedwas made wholesale changes over the next 15 minutes.
Cardiff sensed an opportunity and two late unconverted Cam Dolan tries made it a slightly uncomfortable last few minutes for Bedwas but they held out to take the spoils.
The fixtures for the next part of the season have yet to be announced so in the meantime Bedwas will continue to take part in the Fosters Challenge Cup at Cross Keys on Wednesday 11th January and at Newport on Wednesday 18th January.
Bedwas RFC hosts Newport Gwent Dragon’s Academy’s game against Bedford Blues on Saturday 21st January (Admission free to Bedwas season ticket holders) before Glamorgan Wanderers visit on Saturday 28th January for a Swalec Cup fixture.