Rugby Union: Neath RFC 45 Bedwas RFC 27
British and Irish Cup, Pool 2 Round 2, Saturday October 20, 2012.
Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.
Four first-half tries put the game beyond Bedwas who mounted a comeback in the second-half but the below par performance of the first gave them too much to do.
It took only eight minutes for Neath to get on the board as fullback Gareth King stormed through for a try converted by Langdon. Bedwas could not make any headway into the home half as ferocious tackling kept them at bay.
Neath doubled their lead after 15 minutes. Ethan Davies chipped clearance kick was too low and picked off by Neath’s Kyle Davies who ran through for a try close to the posts, Langdon converted and added a penalty shortly afterwards for a 17 points to nil advantage.
Bedwas pulled a try back after 24 minutes when Scott Williams was rewarded following a good passing move, Ethan Davies added the conversion but Bedwas joy was short lived as Neath’s Kevin James broke through three minutes later, Langdon again adding the extras.
An Ethan Davies penalty goal reduced arrears after 33 minutes but in first half injury time Morgan’s added a fourth Neath try, converted by Langdon for a 31-10 interval lead.
If stern words were spoken at half-time they immediately had an effect. Josh Davies picked up a loose Neath pass and raced through for a try with only three minutes of the half elapsed, Davies added the conversion.
Any hope of a Bedwas comeback evaporated further when Neath captain Gareth Gravell crossed four minutes later, Langdon again converting. Bedwas made two forward replacements before another Neath error saw Ethan Davies cross for a try he converted himself.
Midway through the half Bedwas made five replacements to try and salvage something from the game and whilst this seemed to give the side some impetus there was only a remote chance of an upset although Davies’s penalty goal saw Bedwas cut the lead to nine points.
Tempers began to fray on both sides and a few minor scuffles broke out but referee Williams kept his cards in his pocket opting for lectures to both captains.
For all their efforts good Neath defence and wrong options saw the game slip away from Bedwas despite a renewed effort of the pack lead by some aggressive tackling by Rhys Hutcherson.
Neath completed the scoring at the end of the half with a second try from Kevin James, Langdon maintained his 100% kicking record for a personal tally of 15 points and a deserved man of the match accolade.