By: Paul Hopkins
The Whites were unable to capitalise on a dominant forwards display as they fell to a 25-28 defeat to Bedwas at Bridge Field.
The win keeps Bedwas’ hopes of Premiership survival alive and they must hope that Bridgend fail to defeat Pontypridd to secure a playoff against Championship winners Pontypool.
Swansea took an early lead when fly half Joe Scrivens’ high kick sailed out on the full and flanker Callum Bowden made a break, feeding winger Tom Williams for a try in the corner. Fly half Steffen Williams missed the conversion.
A powerful drive upfield by the visitors’ pack forced their Bedwas counterparts to enter from the side, but Swansea made a mess of a quick tap and surrendered possession.
Centre Tom Hoppe found a gap in the Swansea midfield and raced through, but his pass out wide to winger Deon Smith drifted into touch, ending the promising move.
But the home side remained patient and were rewarded moments later when centre Adam Williams and Hoppe combined to send full back Tom Benjamin sprinting clear for a try. Scrivens converted.
The visitors looked to hit back immediately when Steffen Williams chip to the corner from a penalty. Swansea tried to use their three quarters but scrum half Chris Morgans spilled possession, with Hoppe hacking the ball forward, although centre R Rhys Williams tracked back to defend.
Swansea were penalised for offside at the ruck and Scrivens chipped to the corner. From the lineout the visitors illegally took down a rolling maul that seemed destined for the line so referee Elgan Williams had no option but to award a penalty try.
The All Whites were soon back on the attack with centre Callum Carson making a weaving run into the twenty-two. The home defence failed to roll away after the tackle so Steffen Williams kicked a three pointer.
The elusive Carson raced through a gap in the Bedwas defence, but number eight Jon Fox dropped a pass, which almost saw Hoppe counterattack the middle, but the move broke down.
Bedwas’ third try came in spectacular fashion as Scrivens danced his way past a couple of tackles, taking out the Whites’ defence, before handing a scoring pass to scrum half Luke Crane. Scrivens converted.
Swansea were back within eight points when Morgans caught the Bedwas defence napping by taking a quick tap penalty, before firing out a pass to winger Ryan Griffiths, who touched down in the corner. Steffen Williams missed the conversion.
Half-time:- Bedwas 21 Swansea 13
The visitors looked to attack immediately from the restart and Morgans made a break, finding Carson, but the centre ran into trouble and lost possession forward.
Ill-discipline in the home ranks saw a penalty reversed and Steffen Williams kicked deep into the twenty-two. Morgans tried to release the ball to his backs, but good work by the home forwards secured a turnover at the maul.
The visitors’ total dominance up front paid off when the pack drove forward at a scrum five to claim a penalty try to narrow the deficit to a single point.
A calamitous error by Smith gifted Swansea the lead when the winger tried to shepherd the ball dead but was caught out by Griffiths, who dived over to score. Steffen Williams missed the conversion.
The home side enjoyed a rare second half attack and retook the lead through Williams who took a crash ball to score under the posts. Scrivens converted.
Swansea were awarded a penalty in the dying seconds from a Bedwas scrummaging infringement and replacement fly half Foard Cooksley kicked to the corner. However, an outstanding Bedwas defence somehow repelled the attack and the home side were able to celebrate a huge victory.
Full-time:- Bedwas 28 Swansea 25
Tries:- Tom Benjamin (14), Penalty Try (22), Luke Crane (34), Adam Williams (74)
Cons:- Joe Scrivens (15, 35, 75)
Tries:- Tom Williams (3), Ryan Griffiths (39, 70), Penalty Try (62)
Pens:- Steffen Williams (28)
Venue:- Bridge Field, Bedwas
Referee:- Elgan Williams
Weather:- Sunny, 12C
Man of the match:- Luke Crane
15 Tom Benjamin
14 Deon Smith
13 Tom Hoppe
12 Adam Williams
11 Jordan Rees
10 Joe Scrivens
9 Luke Crane
1 Brynley Toms
2 Alun Rees © (rep: Sam Cochrane 64)
3 Rhys Hutcherson
4 Craig Hudd
5 Gareth Allen (rep: Sion Parry 75)
6 Nathan Hudd (rep: James Richards 41)
7 Jonathan Armitage
8 Dale Rogers
16 Sam Cochrane
17 Mike Dacey
18 Rhys James
19 James Richards
20 Sion Parry
21 Rory Harries
22 Jacob Chilcott
23 Dion McIntosh
15 Jon Bayliss (rep: Nathan Trowbridge 58)
14 Ryan Griffiths
13 R Rhys Williams
12 Callum Carson
11 Tom Williams
10 Steffen Williams (rep: Foard Cooksley 71)
9 Chris Morgans (rep: Tom Ham 71)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Jack Powell 76)
2 Paul John (rep: Shawn Howard 71)
3 Greg Cunniffe (rep: Alex Jeffries 60)
4 James Ratti
5 Matt Dodd (rep: Sam Kiley 7)
6 Charlie Davies
7 Callum Bowden (rep: Ben Davies 71)
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Shawn Howard
17 Jack Powell
18 Alex Jeffries
19 Sam Kiley
20 Ben Davies
21 Tom Ham
22 Foard Cooksley
23 Nathan Trowbridge