Bedwas RFC 40 Glamorgan Wanderers 3
WRU National Cup, Saturday 28th January 2017.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
A hat-trick of tries for number 8 Andrew Waite saw Bedwas safely through to the next round of the WRU National Cup. Wanderers deserve some credit for ‘sticking at it’ but Bedwas’ forward power and the heavy, muddy Bridgefield pitch eventually took its toll.
With the wind at their backs the visitors dominated early possession without reward but took the lead after 11 minutes with a Luke Fish penalty kick from the half way line.
Bedwas responded and from a close range scrum Andrew Waite picked up at the base of the scrum and dived in for a try, Richard Powell successfully adding the extras.
Both sides worked hard in the heavy conditions, the wet ball making handling difficult but after 34 minutes Bedwas doubled their lead as a Bedwas scrum saw the visitors pack pushed back for Waite to pounce on the ball. Powell again accurately kicked the conversion.
Bedwas changed kit for the second half and began brightly. Nicky Griffiths set up Mike Callow to run through for a try early in the half Powell again converting.
Bedwas began to make changes to preserve tiring legs. A sin-binning for James Richards could have made life difficult but Wanderers were unable to make superior numbers pay. Bedwas introduced Tom Rowlands at scrum half after almost 12 months out with injury and then replaced the entire front row, five minutes later Chris Budgen crossed for his first Bedwas try. James Dixon narrowly wide with his conversion attempt.
Bedwas kept up the pressure. A deft kick to the corner by Army recruit James S Dixon set up a line out culminating in a third try for Waite as he was driven over, and then pack power again did the damage as the Wanderers scrum disintegrated leaving the referee no option other than award Bedwas a penalty try. Both tries converted by James Dixon made sure the game was safe.
There was still time for Budgen to fall foul of the referee as he was given a yellow card for a ruck offence but it mattered little as the win was secure.
Next Saturday (4th February) sees the start of the second phase of the Principality Welsh Premiership. With the league table being turned back to zero Bedwas will be keen to get off to a good start at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale (2-30pm).