By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea fell to a record equalling defeat at the hands of high-flying Bedwas, who dominated all aspects of the game, scoring eight tries.
Despite a promising opening ten minutes, the All Whites were repeatedly knocked back up front and their defence struggled to cope with a fast, clinical home side.
It was in fact the visitors who should have taken an early lead when full back Josh Jones created space with a clever side step, with centre Ryan Evans venturing into the twenty-two. Lock Tudor Hughes charged towards the line, but a pass by centre Jedd Evans was deemed forward by referee Aled Evans.
Bedwas flanker George Lee and number eight Dan Crimmins both charged deep into the visitors’ twenty-two and lock Gavin Ronan was spoken to by Evans for deliberate offside. Fly half James Dixon kicked to the corner and his pack collected lineout ball with prop Matthew Pettit driving over for a try. Dixon missed the conversion.
The home dominance up front paid off when they embarked on an unstoppable drive to the line, which was brought down illegally by Ronan, giving Evans no option but to issue him a yellow card and award Bedwas a penalty try. Dixon converted.
The Bridgefield side looked certain to add another try when they attacked from deep, but winger Phillip Pariyo overran the pass.
When the Whites were penalised for collapsing another scrum, Dixon opted to kick for territory. The home side mauled their way towards the try line, but lock Robson Blake was bundled into touch a metre short.
Swansea finally got on the scoreboard after 32 minutes when, against the run of play, winger Tom Williams hacked the ball forward and Pariyo failed to deal with the danger, allowing Josh Jones to nip in to touch down in the corner. Fly half Phil Jones missed the conversion.
When Josh Jones made a break over half way, the move broke down when scrum half Rhodri Wells’ box kick was charged down, although Dixon took the wrong option as his kick ahead was grounded dead.
Crimmins went on a powerful run, handing off two tacklers, but the supporting Pariyo was pushed into touch. The Whites lost their fifth lineout in the half, but Bedwas failed to make them pay by losing the ball forward.
A barnstorming run by the impressive Crimmins caused panic in the Whites defence, but Josh Jones managed to intercept a pass and Tom Williams hurriedly cleared to touch.
From the lineout, the dominant home forwards fashioned another maul with flanker Andrew Waite claiming his side’s third try. Dixon converted.
Half-time:- Bedwas 19 Swansea 5
It took Bedwas eight minutes in the second half to grab a bonus point try when a patient build up by the pack enabled scrum half Nicky Griffiths to pick up and score. Dixon converted.
The home side continued to run riot when Griffiths made a darting break from a ruck and was tackled, only for full back Aaron Bramwell to spot a gap and race home to score under the posts. Dixon converted.
Swansea tried to hit back when Josh Jones and winger Richard Williams linked up out wide, but the pass to Hughes went forward and the move broke down.
Dixon was brought down just five metres short of the line, but the Bedwas forwards were quick to arrive at the breakdown, giving replacement scrum half Luke Crane an easy platform to score a try. Dixon converted.
Hughes was penalised for holding in after the tackle and Josh Jones tried in vain to stop Dixon’s kick from reaching touch. It was to no avail though and it was a very familiar tale when the Bedwas pack mauled forward from a lineout, going through a couple of phases of play, before replacement centre Mike Callow crashed over for a try. Dixon converted.
The All Whites tried to add a consolation try when number eight Jon Fox took a quick penalty, with Jedd Evans in support, but replacement scrum half Matthew Aubrey fumbled the ball at the ruck.
Instead the home side rounded off their victory in style when Blake powered upfield with the All Whites’ defence unable to bring him down. From the resulting ruck Dixon fired a long pass out wide for Bramwell to score. Dixon missed the conversion.
Next up for Bedwas is a home match against Carmarthen, while Swansea host champions Ebbw Vale.
Full-time:- Bedwas 52 Swansea 5
Tries:- Matthew Pettit (18), Penalty try (24), Andrew Waite (40+2), Nicky Griffiths (48), Aaron Bramwell (55, 77), Luke Crane (64), Mike Callow (72)
Cons:- James Dixon (25, 40+3, 49, 56, 65, 73)
Tries:- Josh Jones (32)
Yellow cards:- Gavin Ronan (24)
Venue:- Bridge Field, Bedwas
Referee:- Aled Evans
Weather:- Cloudy, 13C
Man of the match:- Dan Crimmins
15 Aaron Bramwell
14 Andrew Evans (rep: Gabriel Davies 59)
13 Connor Edwards (rep: Mike Callow 59)
12 James S Dixon
11 Phillip Pariyo
10 James Dixon
9 Nicky Griffiths © (rep: Luke Crane 62)
1 Bryn Toms (rep: Jack Williams 59)
2 Alun Rees (rep: Rhys Hutcherson 62)
3 Matthew Pettit (rep: Darran Harris 62)
4 Robson Blake
5 Tom Bell
6 Andrew Waite (rep: Geraint Edmunds 59)
7 George Lee
8 Dan Crimmins (rep: James Richards 59)
16 Jack Williams
17 Darran Harris
18 Rhys Hutcherson
24 Geraint Edmunds
20 James Richards
21 Luke Crane
22 Mike Callow
23 Gabriel Davies
15 Josh Jones
14 Richard Williams
13 Ryan Evans (rep: David Watts 71)
12 Jedd Evans
11 Tom Williams
10 Phil Jones (rep: Jac Wilson 71)
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Matthew Aubrey 67)
1 Dan Kenny (rep: Ali Wade 50)
2 Paul John (rep: Alex Dunham 71)
3 Sam Martin (rep: Richard Murphy 50)
4 Gavin Ronan (rep: Jay Williams 65)
5 Tudor Hughes
6 Jon Vaughan ©
7 Will Jones (rep: Rory Gallagher 56)
8 Jon Fox
16 Alex Dunham
17 Richard Murphy
18 Ali Wade
19 Jay Williams
20 Rory Gallagher
21 Matthew Aubrey
22 Jac Wilson
23 David Watts