Bargoed edge a close affair

Bedwas RFC 22 Bargoed RFC 24

WRU Challenge Cup, Saturday 18 September 2021.

Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.

 Like the game in Bargoed seven weeks ago Bedwas had to settle for a losing bonus point but similarly supporters were again aggrieved that once a couple of fifty-fifty decisions went against Bedwas. However, Stefan Sankala’s men, a young side, can take great pride from their efforts.

On a pleasant mid-September afternoon Bedwas took the lead on seven minutes scrum half Rory Harries’s break putting Owen Jones in space for a try under the posts. Outside half Matty Bancroft added the extras.

Bargoed responded and two tries in two minutes midway through the half. The first by hooker Wade Long, saw him driven over by his forwards and the second by winger Steffan Thomas who squeezed through two would be tacklers to touch down put their side ahead. Outside half Josh Prosser added the extras.

Bargoed extended their lead after 32 minutes as scrum half James Leadbetter crossed for a try converted again by Prosser.

Three minutes later and hesitancy in the Bargoed defence saw Bedwas claim a loose ball from a hopeful kick up field, outside centre Dafydd Thomas claiming a try converted by Bancroft to narrow the gap.

The second half was evenly fought with neither defence allowing scoring opportunities. Bedwas’s Bancroft notched a penalty after 52 minutes to bring his side to within four points before a skirmish saw Bedwas captain Dale Rogers and a Bargoed player sin-binned for their misdeeds.

With both sides down to fourteen Bargoed’s Prosser kicked a penalty to increase his sides advantage. Bedwas refused to lie down and an attack on the Bargoed looked to have been bought down illegally close to the try line, but the referee decided to award just a penalty rather than a penalty try many thought was justified.

Another attack saw what looked a trip on an attacking Bedwas player but despite being close to the incident the referee again waved play on to the consternation of home supporters.

Undeterred Bedwas continued to look for a way through and from a penalty kicked to touch the home forwards bulldozed their way the visiting defence for a try in the right-hand corner. Replacement prop Liam Jenkins claimed the try and with the clock running down Bancroft’s conversion from out wide would have put the scores level but sadly his kick drifted across the posts, narrowly missing the target and Bargoed held on to take the spoils.

Bedwas can take heart from their overall performance, especially newly turned eighteen years old tight head prop Kalum Phillips who made his first team debut having come through the Bedwas Youth side and staking his claim for first team rugby. An example we should be heralding as a club that the opportunity is there for those who want it.

Next Saturday (25 September) Bedwas play their final game in the group stages of the WRU Challenge Cup with a trip to neighbours Cross Keys, kick-off at 2-30pm.

Photos from the game can be found at: Bedwas RFC’s albums | Flickr