Rugby Union: Newport RFC 25 Bedwas RFC 26
Principality Welsh Premiership, Wednesday, September 19, 2012.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell
A very late converted Jack Dixon try won a dramatic, hard-fought game for Bedwas.
Bedwas started on the front foot but couldn’t convert pressure into points allowing Newport to counter. It wasn’t long before Bedwas finally opened the scoring via a Richard Powell penalty goal after nine minutes.
Three minutes later and perhaps the first controversial incident of the game occurred. Newport centre Adam Davies was penalised for a tip tackle on Bedwas lock Kyle Maiden. After lengthy consultation with one of his touch judges referee Langdon decided a yellow card to be a satisfactory sanction, many of the crowd feeling Davies was fortunate not to see red. Powell knocked over the resulting penalty to stretch Bedwas’ lead.
Sneddon landed two penalty goals for Newport as Bedwas fell foul of the referee, resulting in Craig Lodge’s sin binning for killing the ball.
The game became a little loose as each side vied for territory before the second controversy of the night occurred three minutes before the interval. This time the referee had no hesitation in branding a straight red card to Newport number eight Hywel Stoddart following another tip tackle.
Newport responded and closed the half out with a well worked try down the right, Alan Awcock crossing the whitewash, Sneddon added the extras.
With Newport down to 14 men for the entire second half Bedwas supporters hoped to see their sides put Newport to the sword.
In truth, the opposite occurred. Bedwas struggled to make the extra man pay. Newport dug deep and Sneddon punished Bedwas indiscipline with regular penalty goals and going into the last 25 minutes Bedwas trailed by 22-6.
Then Bedwas suddenly found some fluidity. Powell broke through for a try down the Bedwas left and Bedwas began to believe they could get something from the game. With eight minutes left, Bedwas spread the ball wide right and Wardle ran in for a try which went unconverted. Newport continued to resist and playing numbers were levelled when Bedwas replacement Kristian Gay was sin binned for a professional foul with two minutes left on the clock. Sneddon added a further penalty to bring his personal tally for 20 points for the evening and it looked as though Newport would hang on for victory.
However Bedwas weren’t finished. With injury time looming Bedwas broke down the left and Jack Dixon crossed out wide to put his side within one point of the home side. Powell was perhaps the coolest man in the house as he landed his conversion kick from out wide to put Bedwas one point ahead with no more than a minute left.
There was just enough time for a Newport restart before referee Langdon blew for time as Bedwas celebrated a real escape which had looked so unlikely and perhaps extremely fortunate.
Bedwas will need to recover quickly as Llanelli visit the Bridge Field on Saturday 22 September, kick-off 2.30pm.