Bedwas survived a late Bridgend comeback to earn a vital Principality Premiership win on Saturday, April 6.
The 31-24 win sees Bedwas stay 12th in the table, above relegation rivals Bridgend with just four games remaining.
As the sun shone down at the Bridgefield, Bedwas made a flying start.
A break down the middle found Bedwas flanker James Richards, who touched down in the corner for the first try of the game after just two minutes.
Joseph Scrivens converted against his former club to add the two extra points.
Moments later, Bedwas were penalised for a high tackle and Bridgend fullback Owen Howe scored the resulting penalty.
Howe soon had another attempt at goal, but his attempt to bring the scores to within a point sailed wide.
Bedwas got back into their stride and in the 23rd minute, winger Jordan Rees charged down the left, broke through a tackle and crossed over for the hosts’ second try.
Scrivens then added the conversion as Bedwas took a 14-3 lead.
But Bridgend were the next team on the scoreboard. Scrum-half Chris Williams crossed under the sticks in the 29th minute after the Bedwas defence momentarily switched off.
Howe added the conversion as the difference between the two sides was cut to four points.
A 33rd minute penalty from Scrivens bumped Bedwas’ lead up to 17-10, staying that way until half-time.
Bedwas continued to extend their lead in the second half, with Scrivens scoring penalties on the 49th, 52nd and 59th minutes to extend the lead to 16 points.
On the hour mark, Bedwas’ Rees broke down the left and beat his marker, setting up fullback Tom Benjamin, on permit from Ian Gardner’s Cardiff Met, to sprint in to score from 25 metres out.
Scrivens missed his first kick of the game to deny Bedwas two extra points, but his side were 31-10 ahead with 20 minutes remaining.
In the 66th minute, Bedwas captain Nathan Hudd was sin binned for a no-arms tackle on Bridgend outside-half Jamie Murphy.
The visitors sensed they could get something from the game and replacement centre Stuart Floyd-Ellis took advantage of a disorganised Bedwas to score a try under the posts.
Cai Evans added the conversion to reduce Bedwas’ lead to 31-17.
The visitors continued to press 14-man Bedwas and outside-half Jamie Murphy touched down in the 72nd minute for Bridgend’s third try.
Howe’s conversion reduced the arrears to just seven points with momentum firmly in Bridgend’s favour as they seeked crucial points.
The away side threw everything at Bedwas as they pushed for a fourth try, but Bedwas’ defence, boosted by the return of captain Hudd to the pitch, held out strong and secured the win.
Bedwas travel to bottom-placed Neath on Saturday, April 13 as they hope to build on this result and give their survival hopes a major boost.
Report and imagery courtesy of Ian Lovell.