Bedwas RFC 33 St Peters RFC 27.
WRU Admiral Championship East, Saturday 16 September 2023.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Eight tries, three yellow cards and one red card all contributed to an entertaining game at the Bridgefield.
On an overcast afternoon the start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes as the referee had a personal matter to attend to which he was unable to cancel.
The game was only a minute or so into the allotted eighty when Bedwas lock forward Jo Hole was adjudged to have spear tackled a St Peters player. Referee Morris instantly brandished a red card. From the resulting penalty St Peters took the lead as outside half Che Thomas was successful with his kick.
The lead didn’t last long as Thomas’ opposite number James Dixon replied with a penalty of his own.
Despite being a man short Bedwas were in no mood to surrender and extended their lead after 12 minutes. A penalty was cleared to touch and from the resulting line out the Bedwas pack did the rest as captain Dale Rogers made a break off the back of a maul for a try. Dixon converted.
Five minutes later Bedwas increased their lead thanks to a try by lock forward Tommy Chapman, Dixon again successfully converted and Bedwas were 17 points to 3 ahead.
St Peters hit back just after the mid-point of the half through prop forward Tom Burnham who was driven over for a try which went unconverted.
Again, Bedwas upped the ante and the concession of several penalties by St Peters close to the try line saw the referee lose his patience and issue a yellow card to a St Peters player.
Once restored to 15 men and with the half coming to an end St Peters added a second try from former Bedwas stalwart Mike Dacey the last off the turf following a driving maul. The try was again unconverted, but it meant the half time score of 17-13 in Bedwas’ favour would probably see an entertaining second period.
It didn’t take long for Bedwas to increase their advantage as within three minutes replacement flanker Rhys Morgans (who came on for Jack Guy when Hole was dismissed) exploited a gap in the visitor’s defence to dive in for a try. Dixon’s conversion kick went wide but he successfully slotted a penalty five minutes later to increase the Bedwas advantage.
St Peters responded and Bedwas winger Aaron Billingham was yellow carded for an alleged high tackle before the visitors George Hobbs pulled a try back and with Che Thomas’ conversion the Bedwas lead was cut to five points.
Dixon eased Bedwas nerves after 28 minutes as he kicked a penalty goal after St Peters were penalised at a scrum, but St Peters hit back again with a try from centre Ryan Newton, converted by Thomas bought his side to within a point of the Bedwas score.
St Peters sensed a victory, but the Bedwas defence held firm before delivering the sucker punch with 3 minutes left to play when quick hands across the backline produced enough space for replacement full back Sam George to squeeze in at the left-hand corner. Dixon missed the difficult conversion kicked but Bedwas held out for the remaining few minutes to record a deserved win given 78 minutes had been played with only 14 men.
Next Saturday Bedwas are in WRU Cup action as they travel to today’s opponents Roath home, if today’s match is a guide this should be an entertaining game.
The Bedwas Man of the Match sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly was awarded to Ben Eedy.
Match images are at Bedwas RFC’s albums | Flickr