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By: Paul Hopkins
Swansea failed to take their chances as they fell to a bonus point defeat at newly promoted side Bargoed.
Despite a closely fought first half it was the home side who finished stronger as they claimed their first ever win in Welsh rugby’s top flight, making it four victories in five against the All Whites.
After a tentative start from both sides it was the visitors who struck first when centre Josh Martin side stepped in midfield to force the Bargoed defence offside. Fly half Jac Wilson converted the penalty.
Instead of attempting a difficult penalty, Bargoed fly half Sam Withers opted to kick to touch. From the lineout lock Bryce Morgan charged up to within three metres of the line. Then number eight Ross Coombs was held up just short, before Morgan pounced to dive over for a try. Withers converted.
A high tackle on centre Jedd Evans gave the visitors a penalty chance, but Wilson missed his effort at goal.
Number eight Jon Fox picked up a loose clearance kick by winger David Evans, but the home side were penalised for offside in midfield following a Garry Owen by Wilson. He kicked the three pointer.
Bargoed went back on the attack through Withers, Bryce Morgan and lock Lewis Blacker, but they were penalised for holding on after the tackle, allowing the All Whites to clear their lines.
The visitors should have scored in the corner when Wilson got the ball out to his backs quickly, but although Jedd Evans made good ground, Wilson lost the ball forward close to the line.
Flanker Adam Coupe was guilty of handling the ball in a ruck, but Wilson failed to make him pay as he dragged his effort at goal wide of the posts.
The visitors took the lead after 36 minutes when hooker Paul John set up an attacking platform, with the supporting Wilson spinning out of three tackles. With the forwards failing to roll away from the tackle, Wilson kicked the resulting penalty goal.
The home side were back in front on the stroke of half time when Evans sprinted into the twenty-two, with the supporting full back Jordan Purcell burrowing under a tackle to set up an attacking platform. The forwards went through the phases and finally centre Darren Humphries spotted a gap in the defence and raced home to score. Withers converted.
Half-time:- Bargoed 14 Swansea 9
The visitors were determined to stamp their authority on the match and came out fighting in the second half. They profited from an infringement in the lineout and Wilson found touch deep inside the Bargoed twenty-two. A Whites mauled was held up just short of the line, but on the next phase centre Phil Price was sin-binned for a professional foul.
The visitors opted for a scrum five instead of kicking a simple three pointer, but they were to rue that decision as the home pack forced the Swansea front row upwards at the set piece, with referee Wayne Davies awarding Bargoed a relieving penalty.
A clever box kick by scrum half James Pizey almost resulted in a try for Purcell, but the ball beat him over the dead ball line.
The home side looked to extend their lead when the forwards mauled towards the try line from five metres out. Coombs was held up a metre short of the line, but Bargoed were penalised for holding onto possession after the tackle.
Swansea were soon back on the attack through John who charged into the Bargoed defence to send replacement winger Ryan Evans on a run through the middle. He failed to get his pass way despite having three men in support and the home side were able to clear.
Lock Tudor Hughes then began an attack with prop Tom Sloane in support. Fellow lock Gavin Ronan took the ball into the twenty-two, but his pass was intercepted by prop Rhys Morgan and Bargoed were able to clear.
Whites winger Josh Jones was adjudged to have taken the ball over his own try line under no pressure, gifting the home side a scrum five. Pizey got the ball out of the scrum quickly and Bargoed went through a few phases before Coombs crashed over for a try. Withers converted.
A Swansea attack broke down with Purcell hacking the ball forward into the twenty-two. The visitors were then awarded a penalty after a collapsed scrum and Withers made no mistake with his effort at goal to take his side into an unassailable 15 point lead with less than ten minutes left on the clock.
Bargoed sealed victory and collected a well earned bonus point when Evans picked up a loose ball and raced through the middle to send Purcell sprinting clear to score in the corner. Withers missed the conversion.
Next up for Bargoed is a trip to league leaders Aberavon, while Swansea travel to Cross Keys.
Full-time:- Bargoed 29 Swansea 9
Tries:- Bryce Morgan (13), Darren Humphries (40), Ross Coombs (68), Jordan Purcell (80+6)
Cons:- Sam Withers (14, 40+1, 69)
Pens:- Sam Withers (78)
Yellow cards:- Phil Price (45)
Pens:- Jac Wilson (10, 20, 36)
Venue:- Bargoed Park, Bargoed
Referee:- Wayne Davies
Weather:- Sunny, 17C
Man of the match:- Jordan Purcell
15 Jordan Purcell
14 Lewis Hudd
13 Darren Humphries
12 Phil Price (rep: Lewis Bowden 79)
11 David Evans (rep: Ashley Norton (70)
10 Sam Withers
9 James Pizey (rep: Matt Bancroft 70)
1 Rhys Morgan © (rep: Anthony Lott 79)
2 Ian Jenkins (rep: Leigh Meades 52)
3 Keiron Brown (rep: Jack Williams 70)
4 Lewis Blacker (rep: James Locke 63)
5 Bryce Morgan
6 Adam Coupe
7 Grant Rogers (rep: Alex Herbert 63)
8 Ross Coombs
16 Jack Williams
17 Anthony Lott
18 Leigh Meades
19 James Locke
20 Alex Herbert
21 Matt Bancroft
22 Lewis Bowden
23 Ashley Norton
15 Josh Jones
14 Andrew Rees-Spowart (rep: Ryan Evans 55)
13 Jedd Evans
12 Josh Martin
11 Will Lewis
10 Jac Wilson (rep: Phil Jones 69)
9 Martin Luckwell (rep: Matthew Aubrey 69)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Dan Kenny 72)
2 Paul John (rep: Alex Dunham 72)
3 Sam Martin (rep: Mitchell Walsh 61)
4 Gavin Ronan (rep: Jay Williams 61)
5 Tudor Hughes
6 Jon Vaughan ©
7 Jack Perkins (rep: Will Jones 61)
8 Jon Fox
16 Dan Kenny
17 Alex Dunham
18 Mitchell Walsh
19 Jay Williams
20 Will Jones
21 Matthew Aubrey
22 Phil Jones
23 Ryan Evans