BEDWAS TAKE THE SPOILS, AS NEATH DON’T HELP THEMSELVES
(Match report by Phill Lawrence)
A dominant first half, including two tries in two minutes, set Bedwas up for a deserved first win of the season at the Gnoll.
Bedwas got off the mark via the boot of Richard Powell with two penalty goals which saw them six points to nil ahead after 12 minutes.
Dai Langdon kicked a penalty to halve the deficit after 17 minutes. However, the Blacks took the lead midway through the half; a wild Bedwas pass in midfield was intercepted by Neath’s Ospreys young winger, Ashley Evans, who raced through to touchdown by the posts. Langdon added the simple conversion to put the home side 10-6 up.
Bedwas came back with force four minutes later when hooker Richard Wilkes ran through some turnstyle tackling, although at a great angle, and powered through for a try, Powell adding the conversion.
Then came a quite decisive decision two minutes later. Winger Cullen broke down the right and was adjudged to have stayed in the field, although it was obvious that his foot touched the line on more than one occasion, but continued on and ran through for a try, again Powell converted, turning a 10-6 lead into a 10-20 deficit in an instant.
The Bedwas purple patch continued and five minutes later, former Neath Scrum half Luc Jones marked his Bedwas debut with a fine try. Powell missed his conversion on this occasion.
Just before the break, Powell and Langdon exchanged penalties and at half time Bedwas comfortably led 28 points to 13.
From the restart, Dai Langdon took advantage of the advantage to add a smart drop goal before Bedwas lock Phill Rees was sin binned for hands in the ruck, Langdon adding the ensuing third penalty whilst the visitors were reduced to 14, but Bedwas fought back with Powell added another penalty to settle Bedwas nerves – the score now 19-31.
Neath managed to haul themselves back into contention as Full Back Ceri Young broke through some weak tackling for a try which Langdon converted and suddenly Neath were back within five of the visitors at 26-31
But further indiscipline from the home team, and good pressure gained two penalty opportunities, which Powell converted to take his personal tally to 22 points and earn Bedwas a valuable victory and denying Neath a losing bonus point.
There are still positive signs, and in Ashley Evans another speedster is born – and, who knows, without the contentious second try, the story may have been different, but the squad will be hoping to regroup before the visit of a few old boys playing for Cardiff.