Hannah Willis talks to a disappointed Nicky J Thomas after the final whistle at Bargoed...
By: Paul Hopkins
High flying Bargoed made it 20 wins from 20 and effectively ended the All Whites’ challenge for promotion this season thanks to a last minute drop goal by centre Neil Burnett.
It was the visitors who began brightly and looked like storming away from the Bargoed Blues. They took the lead through a penalty goal by full back Nicky Thomas after just seven minutes when the home pack crept offside at a maul.
Holding on after the tackle by Bargoed full back Jordan Purcell gave Nicky Thomas another penalty attempt and he made no mistake to double the lead.
Hooker Leigh Meades was penalised for holding onto the ball after the tackle allowing Nicky Thomas to kick another three points.
The home side began to use their backs to good effect and centre Darren Humphries sprinted down the wing, taking out two tacklers, before handing a scoring pass to flanker Grant Rogers. Fly half Josh Prosser missed the conversion.
A huge scrum by the visitors’ pack earned a penalty as the Bargoed forwards were driven backwards at the rate of knots. Nicky Thomas kicked his side into a seven point lead.
Nicky Thomas found himself isolated inside his own twenty-two and he was forced to give away a penalty. However Prosser missed his effort at goal.
Swansea flanker Matthew Davies was issued a yellow card just before half time for killing a Bargoed attack. The home side opted for a scrum but the attack petered out as they were penalised for holding onto possession after the tackle.
Half-time:- Bargoed 5 Swansea 12
The visitors continued their hard work after the interval when Bargoed again collapsed a scrum. Nicky Thomas kicked his fifth successive penalty goal.
Bargoed weren’t to be phased though and started to batter the Swansea line. The pressure soon paid dividend when scrum half James Pizey found Humphries on a devastating angle and he touched down under the posts. Prosser converted.
With 11 minutes left on the clock the home pack began to take control of proceedings. Props Rhys Morgan and Keiron Brown and lock Geraint Edmunds combined to force the Whites’ defence offside. This time Prosser made no mistake as he tied the scores at 15 apiece.
The home side took the lead for the first time after 74 minutes following a high tackle. Prosser kicked the penalty goal.
Deep inside injury time it looked as if the Whites got out of jail when the home pack collapsed a scrum to gift Swansea a kickable penalty. Nicky Thomas held his nerve to draw his side level.
In a thrilling finale the home side went in search of victory but were unable to get through a resolute Swansea defence. Instead centre Neil Burnett went back into the pocket to drop a goal from 40 metres to spark wild celebrations.
Next up for Bargoed is a trip to Tata Steel, while Swansea host bottom side Llanharan.
Full time:- Bargoed 21 Swansea 18
Referee:- Neil Hennessy
Man of the match:- Darren Humphries
Tries:- Rogers (25), Humphries (58)
Cons:- Prosser (59)
Pens:- Prosser (70, 75)
DGs:- Burnett (80+10)
Pens:- N Thomas (7, 16, 19, 30, 48, 80+7)
Y cards:- Davies (40)
15 Jordan Purcell
14 Lewis Prothero
13 Darren Humphries
12 Neil Burnett
11 Lee Pearson
10 Josh Prosser
9 Ross Coombes (rep: Craig Wilson 80+8)
1 Rhys Morgan
2 Leigh Meades (rep: Lewys Lippiett 63)
3 Keiron Brown
4 Darren Lynch
5 Geraint Edmonds
6 Adam Coupe
7 Grant Rogers
8 James Pizey
16 Lewys Lippiett
17 Luke Smalley
18 Gavin Ferguson
19 Craig Wilson
20 Marc Gwilt
15 Nicky Thomas
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Joe Thomas
12 Tom Williams
11 Will Lewis
10 Jack Wilson (rep: Nic Damjanovic 60)
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Jake Cole 76)
1 Tom Sloane
2 Ricky Guest
3 Justin Hughes (rep: Ryan Thomas 77)
4 Gavin Ronan
5 Sam Kiley
6 Jon Vaughan
7 Matthew Davies
8 Steffan Jones (rep: Jon Fox 59 (rep: Ollie Young 80+7))
16 Ollie Young
17 Ryan Thomas
18 Jon Fox
19 Jake Cole
20 Nic Damjanovic