Bedwas RFC 37 Glamorgan Wanderers 26.
WRU Admiral Championship, Saturday 03 September 2022.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Both sides got their 2022-23 season started, sharing eight tries in what turned out to be a classic ‘game of two halves’.
With a number of new faces in each side it took some time for the sides to find some rhythm. Wanderers, however, had the first scoring opportunity after four minutes but Aled Evans dragged his penalty kick wide of the posts.
However, they took the lead after 15 minutes the ball being moved across the field for flanker Osian Phillips to score in the right-hand corner. Aled Evans successfully adding the extras.
After 20 minutes Bedwas were awarded a penalty eight metres from the Wanderers line and captain Dale Rogers was alert and a quick tap and dive over the line was rewarded with a try, debutant outside half Lloyd Wilkins duly adding the conversion.
Wanderers surged back and from a line out used their big forwards to good affect to drive hooker Jac Williams over the line. This time Evans missed with his conversion kick.
Bedwas attempts to get back into them game were at this stage thwarted by errors and concessions of penalties before Wanderers hit a purple patch between the 35th and 38th minutes played.
A Wanderers line out 35 metres should have presented no threat, but the ball was tapped down to scrum half Steffan Davies who’s diagonal run past a static home defence ended with a try under the posts. Evans converted.
Three minutes later and a kick through saw the ball evade the covering Bedwas defence and left winger Ioan Cooper collected the ball and ran through for his sides fourth and bonus point winning try. Evans again converted.
The referee blew for half time shortly after Cooper’s try and Bedwas had a mountain to climb being 19 points adrift.
Bedwas pulled a try back after 50 minutes as hooker Mike Dacey was driven over from a driving maul to reduce the arrears, Wilkins converted.
The visitors’ Evans missed a penalty kick either side of Lewis Crane and Will Fishlock entering the fray as they replaced Rhys Jones and Lewis Bowden, respectively.
Around the hour mark another driving maul from the home side saw Sam Davies crash through for a try, the same player adding the conversion reducing the deficit to five points.
Bedwas tails were up and a few minutes later a smartly taken quick tap penalty by Lewis Crane and successful Lloyd Wilkins conversion put Bedwas ahead for the first time in the contest and earn a bonus point.
Wanderers had no answers to Bedwas dominance, and their discipline crumbled as three successful Wilkins penalties in the last six minutes to cement the win and complete a remarkable comeback by the home side.
Next Saturday Bedwas make the short journey up the Rhymney Valley to face Bargoed RFC, kick-off 2-30pm.
More images can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bedwasrfc/albums
The Bedwas Man of the Match award sponsored by Casa Mia Restaurant of Caerphilly was awarded to Dale Rogers.