Bargoed’s fast start leaves Bedwas an unsurmountable task.

Bedwas RFC 8 Bargoed RFC 34.

WRU Challenge Cup semi-final, Saturday 23 March 2024.

Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.

 Bargoed’s fast start running in four tries in the first twenty minutes gave Bedwas too big a mountain to climb to get back into the game.

On a cold, windy but dry afternoon Bargoed were quickly out of the blocks to run in their first try with five minutes on the board as full back Dylan Williams crashed over. Josh Prosser’s conversion kick missed the target.

Seven minutes later right-wing Ashley Norton doubled his side’s advantage but again Prosser couldn’t convert.

James Dixon added a penalty after seventeen minutes to surpass two hundred points for the season, but it was a brief highlight for Bedwas as Norton claimed the restart and a few phases later prop Keegan Bale crashed over for his side’s third try, again unconverted.

With half of the allotted forty minutes played Dylan Williams crossed again to touch down under the posts, this time converted by Prosser to leave Bedwas shellshocked.

There were no further scores in the first half.

Bedwas rang the changes at the start of the second half with Ben Drew coming on for Brynley Toms, Jak Robbins for Jacob Wright, and Hamish Anderson for Aaron Billingham.

Ashley Norton became the second Bargoed player to notch two tries with his second effort after eleven minutes of the half had elapsed, again Prosser was off target with his conversion kick.

Around the halfway point Bedwas made multiple changes with Rhys Hutcherson replaced by Ryan Thomas, Arwel Hughes for Lewis Crane, Jo Hole for Tommy Chapman, Dafydd Thomas for Lewis Bowden, and Rhys Jones for Rhys Morgans.

Five minutes later a good break by Dafydd Thomas and quick hands across the line created enough space for Lloyd Wilkins to cross just inside the corner flag. Dixon’s conversion attempt missed.

Bedwas had chances to add to their tally but playing catch up rugby inevitably leads to mistakes and no further score came about.

Bargoed completed the rout with the last play of the game as Jordan Howells ran through for a try converted by Prosser to complete a deserved win for Bargoed who will go on to play Ystrad Rhondda in the final on Sunday 7th April 2024.

In the meantime, with the battle for a top five finish mounting Bedwas must move on and bounce back with a win in a crucial game next Saturday when we host Cross Keys at the Bridgefield.

Images from today’s game can be found at: Bedwas RFC’s albums | Flickr