Match report,and gallery to follow...
Tryline & touchline, Phil Jones' try and Liam Popham post-match interview...
To watch these videos full-screen: click on the video title and open fully in YouTube
By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea’s Championship title hopes effectively came to an end as they were unable to match an impressive Bargoed side desperate to clinch promotion to the Premiership next season.
It means that all Merthyr need to do is secure one point in their remaining fixtures, away at Newbridge or at home to Glynneath. On the other hand, the race for the final two Premiership spots is well and truly alive with Pontypool, Bargoed and RGC 1404 all still firmly in the hunt.
The home side began well with lock Darren Lynch and flanker Adam Coupe charging forward, forcing the Whites’ pack to handle the ball in the ruck. Fly half Calum Jones kicked to the corner.
From the lineout the Bargoed forwards kept control of possession with hooker Ian Jenkins and prop Kieron Brown both close to scoring, before lock Grant Rogers stretched over for the opening try. Jones converted.
The visitors got their first points on the board when the Bargoed forwards were penalised for diving over the top of a ruck. Centre Josh Flye successfully kicked his effort at goal.
Flanker Leigh Meads made a devastating break deep into Swansea territory, but the supporting centre Lewis Protheroe lost the ball forward at the crucial moment.
Coupe then set up another dangerous attack that should have led to a try, but the pass to scrum half James Pizey spilled forward.
However, the home side got their second try five minutes later when Pizey got the ball out of the scrum quickly, sending Protheroe on a run through the middle to draw in the defence for winger Ashley Norton to score in the corner. Jones missed the conversion.
Lynch was penalised for diving into a ruck off his feet, but Flye missed his effort at goal.
On the stroke of half time Flye cut the gap to just six points with a penalty goal when the Bargoed defence entered a ruck offside.
Half-time:- Bargoed 12 Swansea 6
Swansea tried to impose themselves physically after the interval, but a dangerous tackle gave Bargoed an opportunity to kick three points from half way. Jones dragged his effort well wide.
The All Whites struggled to clear their lines from a defensive scrum and were forced backwards, giving away an attacking set piece for the home side.
The visitors were on the back foot at the ensuing scrum and Jenkins exploiting an overlap to send Brown over for a try. Jones converted.
Bargoed secured a bonus point when Jones made a superb break through midfield, finding Protheroe in support, who threw a long pass out wide for Norton to score his second try. Jones missed the conversion.
An ill-judged chip ahead by Jones gave Swansea an attacking chance against the run of play and it almost resulted in a try, but the home side managed to turn over possession close to their own line. Referee Simon Rees brought play back for a Swansea penalty, which Flye chipped to touch. However, hooker Ricky Guest failed to throw the ball the required five metres, allowing Bargoed to clear.
Swansea continued to pile on the pressure though and got their reward moments later when a mistake in defence saw the Whites get the ball out wide for full back Phil Jones to score. Flye failed to convert.
The home side went in search of a fifth try and looked to have split the Swansea defence, but Rees brought blew his whistle to signal a forward pass.
Winger Andrew Claypole and replacement flanker Andrew Hughes injected some pace into the Swansea attack, but the latter was penalised for holding on after the tackle, allowing Bargoed to clear.
When Flye was penalised for holding onto possession after the tackle, Jones kicked for goal, but dragged his effort wide. Rees brought down the curtain on the match five minutes later with no further scores added.
Full time:- Bargoed 24 Swansea 11
Tries:- Grant Rogers (6), Ashley Norton (24, 55), Kieron Brown (49)
Cons:- Calum Jones (7, 50)
Tries:- Phil Jones (66)
Pens:- Josh Flye (9, 39)
Venue:- Bargoed Park, Bargoed
Referee:- Simon Rees
Weather:- Sunny, 9C
Man of the match:- Ashley Norton
15 Lewis Hudd (rep: Phillip Price 68)
14 Duane Dyer
13 Darren Humphries
12 Lewis Protheroe
11 Ashley Norton
10 Calum Jones
9 James Pizey (rep: Matthew Hutcheon 66)
1 Rhys Morgan (rep: Nicky Coughlin 80+4)
2 Ian Jenkins (rep: Jack Williams 68)
3 Kieron Brown
4 Darren Lynch (rep: Louis Blacker 80+4)
5 Grant Rogers
6 Adam Coupe
7 Leigh Meads
8 Lewis Weyman
16 Jack Williams
17 Nicky Coughlin
18 Louis Blacker
19 Matthew Hutcheon
20 Phillip Price
15 Phil Jones
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Jedd Evans
12 Josh Flye
11 Will Lewis (rep: Richard Thomas 80+4)
10 Liam Popham
9 Matthew Aubrey (rep: Rhodri Wells 80+4)
1 Richard Murphy
2 Ricky Guest
3 Ryan Thomas
4 Gavin Ronan
5 Jon Fox (rep: Ollie Young 74)
6 Mike Sully (rep: Andrew Hughes 41)
7 Jack Perkins
8 Steffan Jones (rep: Mitchell Walsh 56)
16 Mitchell Walsh
17 Ollie Young
18 Andrew Hughes
19 Rhodri Wells
20 Richard Thomas