Bargoed RFC 26 Bedwas RFC 10
WRU Specsavers Championship, Saturday 28th December 2019.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Bedwas slipped to defeat in the Championship for the first time this season as Bargoed’ s dominant, physically larger pack proved the major difference between the two sides as Bedwas struggled at scrum time.
The writing was on the wall as early as the fourth minute when the referee awarded the first scrum penalty to Bargoed but Josh Prosser’s penalty shot went wide.
Both sides defended stoutly putting bodies on the line to prevent further scoring but it was Bedwas who took the lead after 15 minutes courtesy of a Dion McIntosh penalty after Bargoed were called offside.
Try scoring opportunities were few but Bargoed had a second opportunity to claim points just after the half hour. Former Bedwas player Steffan Jones who had replaced the injured Prosser took over kicking duties but his long range penalty attempt went wide.
Just before the interval home scrum pressure finally earned its reward as a close range scrum saw pressure applied by the home forwards and with the Bedwas scrum fractured Number 8 Grant Rogers pounced on the loose ball to claim the try. Jones’s accuracy at the posts again went awry as a comparatively simple conversion was missed.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first with defences on top. Bargoed mounted a series of raids deep into Bedwas territory and with the Bedwas scrum continuing to creak it was unsurprising the referee awarded Bargoed a penalty try. This was followed by the obligatory yellow card, Rhys Hutcherson was adjudged the guilty party and he trudged off for 10 minutes on the side lines.
Winger George Collins was sacrificed for the period of Hutcherson’s spell off the pitch to allow for Kelvyn Williams to replace Hutcherson. This seemed to steady the scrum so Hutcherson did not return to the fray.
Owain Keane replaced Matt Bancroft at scrum half after 58 minutes and almost immediately Bedwas were back in the game as Keane spotted a gap in the home defence and sprinted in from 40 metres which when combined with Mcintosh’s conversion reduced the arrears to two points.
Bedwas hopes of rescuing anything from the game disappeared after 69 minutes as centre Darren Humphries crossed for a try which Steffan Jones improved upon.
The Bargoed defence continued to hold out at everything Bedwas threw at them before replacement Bargoed scrum half Huw Rees crossed for a try with a few minutes remaining to earn his side a bonus point; Steffan Jones adding the extras.
Following this victory Bargoed move into second place behind Pontypool, however Bedwas have a game in hand over Bargoed and two games in hand over Pontypool which could prove decisive.
Bedwas are next in action on Saturday 4th January 2020 as we visit Pandy Park, Cross Keys, kick-off is at 2-30pm.
Images from this game can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums