Neath RFC 20 Bedwas RFC 34.

Principality Welsh Premiership, Friday 12th February 2016.

Match report and photography by Ian Lovell.

Bedwas came back from the dead to defeat Neath after scoring thirty four unanswered points at a cold but dry Neath on Friday evening.

The game started showing no sign of the drama to come as both sides looked for an opening. Neath took first blood following good passing lock forward Rhys Jones swept passed some static Bedwas defenders to cross for a try, Rhodri Cole’s conversion attempt going wide.

Soon afterwards the home side doubled their advantage as again the Bedwas defence was found wanting and winger Josh Jones took advantage to cross this time improved upon by Cole. It appeared Neath had scored a third try but the officials saw something that no one else did and disallowed the score before Josh Jones added his second try, this time after the referee consulted one of his touch judges. The conversion attempt went wide.

Bedwas were lacking cohesion and were getting bullied by a rampant Neath pack but deep into stoppage time finally put together a sweeping cross field move which resulted in a try in the left hand corner for George Gasson, Powell’s kick missing the target.

The must have been a dressing down in the dressing room for the Bedwas players as they came out for the second half looking determined to right the wrongs of the first half. With barely five minutes of the half gone the Bedwas coaching replaced their entire front row and the injured George Lee at the same time.

If they were to find a way back into the game it was essential Bedwas scored first and they duly obliged with Adam Williams exploiting a gap to cross for a try. Again Powell missed his conversion attempt.

Further forward replacements in Robson Blake and Joe Davies and centre Mike Callow for Connor Edwards saw Bedwas find a second wind. Richard Powell launched an attack with a smart kick and chase but pulled up with cramp as he chased his kick. Bedwas attackers followed up in numbers and bundled the Neath defender into touch to earn a five metre scrum. Bedwas turned the screw and Alun Rees was driven over for a try, Powell again off target with his kick.

Bedwas took the game to their hosts and with ten minutes play remaining man of the match Mathew John ran through and crossed for a try, Powell finally finding his range and Bedwas were six points ahead and crucially a four try bonus point was in the bag. With three minutes remaining Bedwas cemented a fine comeback as Mathew John added his second try with an unopposed run past tired defenders, Powell added the conversion to complete a memorable victory.

Bedwas have little time to rest on their laurels before taking on Newport in The Fosters Challenge Cup on Wednesday 17 February (at Ystrad Mynach 7-15pm) and just three days later Llandovery visit Bedwas for a Principality Premiership game (kick-off 2-30pm).