Bedwas RFC defeated Bridgend Ravens 22-16 away from home to gain a vital league victory.
Two tries from Jordan Rees and another from Tom Hoppe were enough to see the game off, despite the dismissals of Joe Davies and Rhys Hutcherson leaving the side with just 13 men for the last eight minutes of the game.
Bedwas are now 11th in the Principality Premiership table with 22 points.
It was a bright start for Bedwas, with Rees scoring his first try of the game after just two minutes, while Joe Scrivens added the conversion.
Bridgend replied through a try from No8 Aled Evans, but Jamie Murphy was unable to convert for the extra two points. Murphy then missed a penalty before Tom Morgan’s yellow card left the hosts a man down.
The men in black then scored two tries in three minutes to capitalise on the man advantage. Jordan Rees crossed over for his second while Tom Hoppe broke through the home defence to sprint in from 25 metres and touch down under the post. Scrivens’ conversion put Bedwas 19-5 ahead.
Bedwas squandered a number of chances to extend the lead further, with a Murphy penalty reducing the lead to 19-8, keeping the Ravens in the game at half time.
A second Murphy penalty early in the second half reduced the deficit further before Bridgend back-row substitute Jordan Collier was shown a yellow card.
Bedwas took advantage and increased their lead to 22-11 thanks to a Scrivens penalty, before Davies was sent off for the visitors.
With victory still in their sights, the Ravens piled the pressure on Bedwas’ defence. Prop Rhodri Apsee eventually burrowed over for a try awarded by a touch judge after the referee didn’t see the ball grounded.
It was a tense finish for Bedwas as prop Hutcherson was sent to the touchlines for a scrum offence. The visitors were down to 13 men and were just a converted try away from defeat deep into stoppage time.
Bridgend threw everything at a disadvantaged Bedwas side, who defied the odds and held out for a massive win.
Bedwas’ next game will be at home against Neath RFC at the Bridgefield, with the game kicking off at 2.30pm.
Report and photography by Ian Lovell, of Bedwas RFC.