Gwent clubs fail to shine at National Sevens but Bedwas lift plate
IT’S FAIR to say Gwent didn’t exactly take the inaugural Foster’s National Sevens by storm yesterday but Bedwas still have a new addition to their trophy cabinet.
There were 22 games on the new plastic pitch at Cardiff Arms Park and just four wins for clubs from the Dragons region, three of them by the Bridge Field outfit.
They were dumped out in the first round of the cup, which was lifted by Pontypridd, along with Cross Keys, Bargoed, Newport and Ebbw Vale.
The quintet all subsequently went into the plate and Bedwas went on to win it.
They had lost a friendly to Newbridge on Saturday afternoon and had not done any sevens training yet still secured the honour of being best of the worst.
Tries by Rhys Downes (2), Harley Thompson, Elliot Jones and Aaron Harris earned a 29-28 win against Swansea in the final, prompting understated celebrations.
It was a successful event but there won’t have been many tears shed by the clubs that failed to make an impact.
The tournament was given a spot in the calendar when management and players are thinking of serious 15-a-side stuff rather than frivolous sevens. Perhaps early August would be better.
Club coaches were more likely to offer a lose bonus than win incentives and it was no surprise that there was a lack of Gwent success with plenty of first teamers on the sidelines.
Scores by Dorian Jones and Elliott Jones weren’t enough to stop Cross Keys being dumped out of the main competition before lunchtime, Bridgend sneaking a 17-12 win when extra time was looming.
Bedwas were next up and they suffered the same fate as Keys after being edged out 26-19 by Aberavon despite scores by Steve Cullen, Downes and Elliot Jones.
They were joined in the plate quarters by Bargoed, who were given an almighty 47-5 thumping by Llandovery.
Newport looked likely to buck the trend when they went 12-0 up against hosts Cardiff thanks to tries by Ethan Davies and Adam Frampton but they imploded to lose 21-12.
That left Championship top dogs Ebbw Vale as Gwent’s only cup hope – but they went down to Llanelli 24-7, their try scored by Kier Hughes.
Bedwas edged out Keys 17-12 in the plate quarters with Dragons Academy speedster Lewis Hudd impressing.
A plucky Bargoed effort wasn’t enough against Newport, who won 35-17 thanks to tries by Owen Broad, Andrew Brown, Elliot Frewen (2) and James Leadbeater, while Ebbw Vale were brushed aside 46-15 by Swansea.
The semi-finals were both last-gasp affairs with Downes winning it for Bedwas 26-22 against Carmarthen Quins before Newport were denied at the death by Swansea 22-19.
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