Bedwas RFC 17 Aberavon RFC 17
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 12th November 2016.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Richard Powell’s last-kick-of-the-game penalty goal earned Bedwas a deserved draw against top of the table Aberavon on a mild mid-November afternoon.
Bedwas started at fast pace and took the lead after only eight minutes. An Aberavon scrum on the Bedwas right was taken against the head by George Lee who quickly moved the ball on through the entire back line to Pat Lewis who beat his man and sprinted in to touch down behind the posts. James S. Dixon added the conversion.
The home faithful didn’t have to wait long for the second try, when after twelve minutes smart handling across the line made space for Lewis to run in a near identical try to his first effort. Dixon again adding the conversion.
Aberavon were jolted and hit back with a strong phase of possession and laying siege close to the Bedwas line, a series of scrums by the visitors putting the hosts under huge pressure but they were in no mood to crack. Aberavon dominated this stage of the game but gained no points for their endeavours and half time arrived with no further points being added by either side.
The second half started as the first had ended with Bedwas on the back foot for long periods as Aberavon took charge of possession and territory. This paid off after a raid into the home twenty two saw play switched right from a ruck for centre Will Price to dart in for a try. James Garland added the extras.
Seven minutes later Garland added a penalty goal before Bedwas’ Nicky Griffith’s tackle on an Aberavon player was adjudged to be a tip tackle and Griffiths was given a yellow card. Garland missed the ensuing penalty and chance to reduce the gap to a single point.
Aberavon continued to starve Bedwas of possession and took the lead after 70 minutes. Following a line-out Aberavon attacked the Bedwas line and were awarded a penalty try after Bedwas looked harshly adjudged to have pulled down a maul. Garland added the conversion to put his side ahead for the first time in the contest.
Bedwas dug deep and fresh legs saw them finally gain some degree of pressure but despite their best efforts no reward came but importantly they didn’t give up.
One last foray into the visitors half saw Aberavon yield a penalty 25 metres out and up stepped Richard Powell to calmly slot the ball between the uprights to earn Bedwas two points for a draw. These valuable points see Bedwas slip to 6th in the table on the same league points Pontypridd but having scored three less tries as the battle for top eight positions intensifies.
Next Saturday Bedwas make the short journey to Bargoed for yet another game kicking off early due to a Wales fixture; kick off is at 12 midday.