Rugby Union: Aberavon RFC 25 Bedwas RFC 22
Principality Welsh Premiership, Saturday, September 29, 2012.
Match report by John Meredith and photography by Ian Lovell
Bedwas’ quest to break the hoodoo and win at the Talbot Athletic Ground goes on after throwing away a healthy lead in what was – to use the cliché – a game of two halves.
Bedwas, playing into the wind, started quickly and were a try up after three minutes. A good run by centre Jack Dixon saw the ball slipped to Rhys Hutcherson for a try, Powell missed the tricky conversion.
They doubled their lead a few minutes later with Dixon again at the heart of the move, this time finished off by scrum half Tom Rowlands. Powell’s kick again missing the target. It was all Bedwas at this stage although Aberavon had a chance to get on the scoreboard by Craig Evans’s penalty shot went wide.
As Aberavon fought to get back into the game Powell finally found his range and landed a good penalty goal into the wind to put Bedwas 13-0 ahead. Aberavon’s pack fought hard to get into the game but Bedwas defended well. Powell missed a long range penalty goal before a Bedwas mistake saw winger Richard Thomas gather a loose ball and sprint 60 metres for a try by the corner flag. Evans missed with his conversion attempt.
Just before the half time whistle Powell increased Bedwas’s lead with a well struck penalty after Aberavon were penalised at a ruck.
Two minutes into the second half Powell put Bedwas further ahead before Evans landed a penalty for the home side.
The strong wind of the first half seemed to die down for the second half and with it went Bedwas hopes as they ran out of ideas and allowed their hosts back into the game.
Aberavon scored a good try out wide by fullback Jonathan Phillips which Evans converted and Aberavon were suddenly only four points behind. Their pack with fresh legs on the field grew in dominance forcing Bedwas into errors and wrong options.
Aberavon eased into the lead after 72 minutes, Bedwas’s scrum disintegrated and referee Perkins awarded a penalty try, Evans added the simple conversion and the home side led for the first time in the game.
Bedwas responded with a good break down the right but Budina’s pass was correctly ruled forward and Bedwas’s hopes of a try evaporated. With one minute left on the clock Bedwas earned a penalty in front of the posts which replacement Ethan Davies put over to tie the scores at 22-22.
There was still time for Avon to win the game courtesy of an Evans penalty after Bedwas were penalised at a ruck. This leaves Bedwas wondering what they must do to break the hoodoo this ground seems to have for them.
Bedwas need to regroup quickly ahead of the visit of Neath to the Bridge Field on Saturday October 6, kick off 2.30pm