Oh dear…where do we start? Well, the first lesson of this Easter bunny of a match is that you don’t start by scoring a converted try straight from the kick-off. Seven points up against third from bottom Bedwas so soon runs the risk of creating delusions of grandeur.
And it did. What happened for most of the next 80 minutes might be called careless. It could even be labelled lethargic. Or simply sloppy. Whatever it was, it was a losers’ show. Not that Bedwas were complaining. By standing their ground up front (not too difficult against a pedestrian pack) and outsmarting their opponents in the backs (and, it has to be said, with something to spare) they set up a victory that they thoroughly deserved.
Perhaps the result mattered more to them than the Blue & Blacks. But that’s no explanation for just how poor this display was. All the good feelings of recent weeks counted for nothing after such a second-rate performance.
The only high spots for the home fans were three good tries. That first one after 90 seconds came after a move of several phases before the defence ran out of men and Richard Jones strolled over. The second midway though the second half, by which time the side had fallen behind 13-25 before Craig Evans slotted his third penalty goal, was the result of clever footwork by Leon Andrews, Cardiff’s best attacker on the day. And thirdly Rhys Williams finally escaped his marker’s shackles by coming off the blindside wing from a line out to split the midfield defence for a classic try.
But class was not the order of the day. No sooner had Evans’ third conversion of Williams’ try established a flattering 30-25 lead with five minutes left than the Blue & Blacks resumed their shambolic shilly-shallying in their own 22. Perhaps they thought their opponents wouldn’t manufacture a match-saving, or even winning, try. They should have known better.
Bedwas wings Scott Horner with two and Nathan Hill with another on the stroke of half-time had already pounced three times with fine tries of their own. Now as the game entered injury time, Hill did so again. But it was far out near the left corner and it was odds-on a 30-all stalemate. Full-back Stuart Thomas, a creative runner who had already kicked two penalty goals and a couple of easy conversions, thought otherwise. From near touch he heroically converted.
Still the game wasn’t over. Eight minutes of injury time were played, during which the Blue & Blacks, albeit from deep inside their own half, had two attacking opportunities. They dropped the first and kicked away the second. It was that sort of afternoon.
Easter bunnies, indeed.