Bargoed 11-15 Newport RFC
Saturday April 22, Ystrad Mynach
Newport had to dig deep to beat Bargoed in their Principality Premiership Tier Two match, as a piece of brilliance from Llywarch ap Myrddin secured the Black and Ambers a play-off spot.
The venue may have been different – being played at the CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach due to building work at Bargoed Park – but the match followed a theme all too familiar to Bargoed fans.
The Bulls enjoyed plenty of territory and possession, but a failure to put points on the board ultimately cost them.
Newport took an early lead through Arwel Robson’s penalty, but Bargoed hit back with several chances. The visitors were somewhat fortunate not to concede a penalty try when Robson was adjudged to have deliberately knocked-on metres from his own try line. The outside-half was sinbinned for his offence, but Bargoed couldn’t make the extra man count and Newport survived.
However, just before half-time the Black and Ambers were reduced to 14 men once again. Flanker Rhodri Jones was shown a yellow card for his part in a fairly widespread fracas. Again, Bargoed asked questions of the Newport defence, but came away empty handed with the scores 0-3 at the interval.
The hosts played with patience and control from the start of the second half, working the ball upfield and resisting the temptation to kick away possession. Newport couldn’t contain the pressure and buckled, conceding two penalties in ten minutes. Full-back Matthew Lewis put the Bulls 6-3 in front.
The Newport scrum had Bargoed in a spot of bother throughout the first half, and when scrum-half Matt Bancroft was adjudged to have carried the ball over his own in-goal area, the visitors sniffed their chance with a scrum five-metres out. After a reset and a penalty, referee Gareth John went under the posts for a penalty try which Robson converted with ease.
Bargoed rang the changes in an attempt to get back into the game, and a fresh front-row paid dividends. Hooker Lewis Lippiett finished off a fine move to edge the hosts in front 11-10. Lewis missed the conversion, but Bargoed led entering the final quarter.
With just five minutes to go, Bargoed were pinned back inside their own 22-metre area. A Newport-fed scrum was well worked, and Black and Ambers full-back ap Myrddin finished off brilliantly, condemning Bargoed just the solitary losing bonus point.
• Match report by Peter Greening of Bargoed RFC.