Bedwas have climbed out of the Principality Premiership relegation zone after beating Neath at Bridge Field on Saturday, February 23.
Stefan Sankala’s team scored five tries to beat bottom-placed Neath 36-28 and earn a bonus-point win.
A penalty kick from the visitors’ Jordan Rees gave Neath first blood, but Bedwas responded through a Joseph Scrivens penalty four minutes later.
In the 19th minute, Bedwas captain Alun Rees was stopped just short of the line before Luke Crane darted over for a try. Scrivens scored the conversion to give Bedwas a 10-3 lead.
To make matters worse for Neath, prop Garin Lloyd was shown a yellow card to reduce them to 14 men. Just six minutes later, No8 Guido Volpi was sent to the stands by referee Richard Deacy.
For four minutes, Bedwas had a two-man advantage, which they converted into points. Dale Rogers scored a try which was converted by Scrivens to give Bedwas a 17-3 lead.
A second penalty from Rees brought Neath to within 11 points of their hosts.
Adam Williams, making his 100th appearance for Bedwas, sprinted down the left wing and dived over for a try, which Scrivens then converted.
With Neath back up to 15 men, they pulled a try back through former Bedwas scrum half Nicky Griffiths. Rees’ penalty reduced Bedwas’ lead to 24-13 going into the break.
The visitors started the second half strongly, with centre Kieran Williams crossing the try-line in the 42nd minute.
Williams’ try went unconverted, but Rees kicked a penalty in the 47th minute to reduce the deficit to just three points.
Bedwas made six substitutions over the course of the next ten minutes to freshen things up.
A break by Scrivens saw him score out on the right wing to earn Bedwas a four try bonus point. Scrivens missed the chance to convert his own try, with Neath still looking for something from the game.
Bedwas flanker Nathan Hudd was soon replaced by Sion Parry, who scored his first try for the club just minutes after coming on. Scrivens made no mistake from the kicking tee to give Bedwas a 15 point lead.
Neath refused to back down and put the hosts on the back foot. Bedwas try-scorer Williams was then sent to the sin bin for deliberate offside with five minutes remaining.
The Principality Premiership’s bottom side took advantage of the extra man as winger Gareth Hopkins scored Neath’s third try of the game.
Replacement Callum Hall scored the conversion but Bedwas held out to deny Neath a losing-bonus point.
The result sees Bedwas rise to 11th in the table, one place above the drop zone.
On Saturday, March 2, Bedwas welcome county-borough neighbours Cross Keys to Bridge Field in a crunch relegation clash.
Report and imagery courtesy of Ian Lovell.