Matt O’Brien kicked off to start this Fosters Challenge Cup game with both sides knowing a win would put them into the semi-finals. Newport started well with a lot of possession and were going through the phases but held on too long at one tackle and Bedwas got the relieving penalty. The home side then stole a lineout and again took the ball upfield with O’Brien’s pass putting Dan Mock through the middle and about to go over between the posts but the referee had spotted that the last pass was forward. Bedwas then took a Newport lineout which led to a scrum on the five metre line. Bedwas awarded a penalty at the scrum and went for another scrum, another penalty and again chose a scrum. Penalty to Newport! It’s a tough job being a ref! Again the visitors attacked the line but the ball was lost in the act of touching down.
Bedwas prop, Pettit, was then yellow carded for something that happened as a scrum was breaking up. Newport took a quick tap from a penalty and drove into their opponents half winning another penalty after the ball was killed. O’Brien took the long difficult kick and it was over the posts for the first score. Bedwas replied immediately and a series of drives saw Rory Budina getting some space. Two defenders tried to stop him but his pace meant they couldn’t get close enough to make the tackle. Richard Powell converted. Newport couldn’t get out of their half and were relieved when the ref blew for half time.
Half Time: Newport 3 – 7 Bedwas
The Black & Ambers started the second half with intent and Ryan James caught his opposite number in possession at a Bedwas scrum and turned the ball over. At the next scrum the referee spotted that Newport’s Garin Harris had been up to something and he was yellow carded. Bedwas then threw everything into attack and Newport defended well for long periods. With twenty minutes to go Newport changed the front row and a second row. Matt Prosser, Will Evans, Tom Piper and Andrew Mann taking to the field. It seemed to work as they won a penalty at the next scrum and O’Brien put it over. With the score now 6 – 7, Ryan James was replaced by Ryan Bates who looked lively and provided a good service to his ten.
The last ten minutes saw most of the scoring with Bedwas getting a penalty to make it 6 -10 and then Newport getting a penalty to make it 9 – 10. The home team were now attacking from everywhere but the Bedwas defence was proving hard to crack. After running from their twenty two Newport surged up the field but the ball was lost and Bedwas were clinical as they ran through the disorganised Newport defence. At 9 – 17 with minutes to go the game was over but there was still time for the visitors to kick a penalty.
Final score Newport 9 – 20 Bedwas.
There were some good individual performances from Newport players but Bedwas deserved the win for their great defence and for taking their chances and we wish them best of luck in the semi-finals.
Newport Man 0f the Match: Ryan James.