Pontypridd RFC 29 Bedwas RFC 20
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday 30th December 2017.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas will be ruing missed opportunities as they came agonisingly close to snatching a bonus point late in the game after an improved second half performance.
The day started well enough for Bedwas after gaining a penalty after two minutes the home side adjudged guilty of a ruck offence; Steffan Jones notched the three points on offer.
The joy was short lived as the home side regained possession from the restart and quickly worked the ball wide for Lewis Williams to cross out wide, Ceri Sweeney’s conversion attempt drifted wide.
Ponty’s attempts to up the tempo were thwarted by resolute Bedwas defence but their persistence paid off as Lewis Williams grabbed his second try of the afternoon after 17 minutes, this time Sweeney added the extras.
Shortly afterwards Bedwas lost second row James Richards to the sin bin as he was adjudged guilty of a deliberate knock on. Ponty used their numerical advantage to exploit the space created and Ceri Sweeney found a gap to dart over from close range before adding the conversion to put his side 19 points to 3 ahead.
Bedwas struck back after 34 minutes. Ponty possession was turned over and Adam Williams took advantage as he raced in for a try in the right hand corner. Covering defender Dale Stuckey’s attempt to halt Williams with a no arms tackle probably should have seen him sin binned but the referee decided to ignore the offence. Steffan Jones’ conversion attempt went wide.
Ponty started the second half at pace as they went in search of a 4th and bonus point earning try. It didn’t take long as prop forward Corey Domachowski crashed over the line for an unconverted try.
Bedwas made wholesale changes to try and salvage something from the game. Andrew Waite looked to have scored a try but unfortunately lost control of the ball as his outstretched arm placed the ball down. Bedwas continued to attack but were thwarted by a combination of errors and defiant home defence.
Bedwas finally gained reward after 66 minutes after the home side turned over possession Connor Edwards evaded the home defence with a jinking run from his own half to cross for a try; Lewis Evans added the extras.
Going into the last 10 minutes Bedwas sensed an opportunity to get something from the game but all efforts were denied by a resolute home defence which the turned defence into attack as winger Alex Webber’s weaving run at pace left the Bedwas defence floundering. With the conversion being missed the home side were 29 points to 15 up with three minutes to play.
Bedwas didn’t give up and Steffan Jones intercepted a wayward pass to sprint in from the halfway line. Up stepped Lewis Evans to take the conversion attempt knowing success would earn his side a losing bonus point (for finishing within 7 points) but unfortunately his attempt went wide and the referee called an end to proceedings.
Next Saturday Bedwas make a trip to Pembrokeshire to take on Narberth RFC in the first round of the National Cup. Kick-off is at 2-30pm.