Bedwas RFC 20 Merthyr RFC 40
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 25th February 2017.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Merthyr left Bedwas with a bonus point win after the home side were outfought and outthought on a very muddy Bridgefield pitch.
Bedwas had to make late changes to the selected fifteen with Robson Blake withdrawing from the game after becoming a father early on Saturday morning and Adam Williams pulling up in the warm up.
From the start Merthyr dominated possession and took the lead after 12 minutes as scrum half Justin James darted through a gap in the home defence to cross for a try. Full back Matthew Jarvis added the conversion.
Bedwas settled down and tried valiantly to get back into the game. Reward came as Richard Powell was on target with two penalty goals to reduce the arrears to a solitary point. Home scrum half Nicky Griffiths was lost to injury before the two penalties and was replaced by Tom Rowlands.
Matthew Jarvis added a penalty to increase Merthyr’s lead but Bedwas crossed just before the interval as a clearance kick was charged down by Geraint Edmunds and George Lee reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball for a try converted by Powell. There was still time for Jarvis to add a second penalty to leave honours shared at 13 all at the break.
Bedwas replaced the entire front row after 49 minutes as they defended a close range line out. Merthyr claimed the ball and captain and second row Craig Locke crashed over, Jarvis again successful with his kick.
Three minutes later and a loose ball was hacked through by Richard Carter who showed some fine footballing skills and then sprinting on to the ball to claim a try. Jarvis added the conversion and a penalty four minutes later to put daylight between the teams.
Merthyr notched their fourth and bonus point try with thirteen minutes left to play as Nathan Trevett crossed, Jarvis again successfully converting.
Any hopes Bedwas held of a comeback evaporated when replacement James Richards was sin binned for a ruck offence with ten minutes left to play.
Once Richards returned to the fray Bedwas pulled a try back as Patric Lewis danced his way through the visiting defence, Powell added the conversion but it was too little too late. With stoppage time being played Jarvis kicked another penalty to make the final score Bedwas 20 Merthyr 40.
The next fixture for Bedwas is against Bridgend in the Fosters Challenge Cup semi-final which has been bought forward to Saturday 11th March following agreement between the clubs and the WRU. This game will be played at the Brewery Field Bridgend as the two clubs tossed a coin to decide the venue after the original venue could not be used due to Cross Keys hosting Bargoed on the same day.