Bedwas RFC suffered a heavy 54-17 defeat at title-chasing Pontypridd on Saturday (December, 15).
Two tries from Tom Hoppe proved a small consolation as Bedwas conceded eight tries against the Principality Premiership leaders at a wet and windy Sardis Road.
Bedwas were looking to bounce back from their defeat at Swansea last weekend, but the hosts proved too strong.
The game, which was shown live on S4C, saw Pontypridd captain Dafydd Lockyer make his 350th appearance for the club.
Bedwas missed the chance to take the lead early on when Joe Scrivens’ penalty drifted wide.
Pontypridd then went on to open the scoring through a penalty-try after six failed reset scrums saw Bedwas prop Chris Budgen yellow carded.
Despite being a man down, Bedwas got themselves on the scoreboard through a Scrivens penalty as Pontypridd’s Rhodri Jones was also sent to the sin bin.
With seconds left of Jones’ sin-binning, Bedwas seized the opportunity when a loose pass was pounced upon by Hoppe, who sprinted clear to touch down close to the posts. Scrivens added the conversion to give Bedwas a 10-7 lead.
The visitors failed to increase their lead when Scrivens put another penalty attempt wide, with Pontypridd soon regaining the lead through Cameron Lewis.
A conversion from Lewis Williams gave Pontypridd a slender 14-10 lead at half-time.
With the wind at their backs for the second half, Pontypridd wasted no time in extending their lead with two quick tries from hooker Liam Belcher, which were both converted by Williams, putting the hosts 28-10 up and securing a bonus point.
Bedwas battled to get themselves back in contention but a sweeping move put lock Chris Dicomidis in for a try, which Williams converted.
Pontypridd piled more misery onto Bedwas as Scrivens’ attempt at a stab kick fell into the hands of Dale Stuckey, who sprinted from deep in his own half to score. Williams missed the conversion but Bedwas now found themselves 30 points behind.
Ill-discipline struck Bedwas again as Jonny Armitage was sent off for ten minutes. Williams then danced through the the defence to add another try, which he converted himself, to put Pontypridd 47-10 up.
With 11 minutes remaining, Alex Webber scored the hosts’ eighth and final try.
However, Bedwas refused to let their heads drop, with Tom Rowlands setting up Hoppe for his second try of the game, which Scrivens converted.
Pontyprudd kept the visitors at bay as the match finished 54-17.
Bedwas return to the Bridge Field on Saturday to host Merthyr, followed by the visit of Ebbw Vale on Boxing Day in front of the BBC cameras.
Report and imagery by Ian Lovell