2008/2009 SWALEC Cup
Bethesda 17 v 55 Cardiff
20 December 2008

Match Report

Bethesda 17 Cardiff 55

There were winners all around at Dol Dafydd as Cardiff gained their expected pathway into the next round of the cup and Bethesda, marvellous and proud hosts, themselves ran in three tries.

As expected, Cardiff received the warmest of welcomes in north Wales as the population of Bethesda turned out in vast numbers to watch what they freely admitted was their biggest game since they were formed 35 years ago. Among the crowd was Cardiff committeeman Simon Down who, along with several others, had made the tortuous 180-mile journey through mid-Wales during the morning. "It was well worth it," he said, "because the welcome that everyone from Cardiff - players, officials and fans - have received here today has been absolutely fantastic."

Immediately prior to the kick-off both teams lined up as local Kiwi ex-pat and Bethesda resident Bill Huaki performed a one-man haka!

The Blue & Blacks started strongly with Roger Davies and skipper Rhys Shellard touching down in the 7th and 9th minutes. With Lee Jarvis converting the first, a 12-0 lead seemed the perfect launch pad. But the biggest cheer came bearely two minutes later when fly-half Matthew Parry intercepted a loose pass and scored under the posts and converted his own try. It was the 25th minute before the visitors re-established their two-score lead when Phil Osborne crossed.A minute later Jarvis converted a Ryan Howells try to extend the gap to 17 points.

Parry almost embarrassed Cardiff again with another interception and the line at his mercy before he was called back for off-side. It was deep in first-half injury time before Cardiff added another converted try with Jarvis adding the extras to a fine effort finished by Richard Jones to establish an interval lead of 31-7.

The third quarter was by no means one way traffic and it was 17 minutes after the restart before Craig Morgan popped up on the far wing to claim his 92nd try for the club, converted expertly from the right touchline by Jarvis. Cardiff were now using their replacements and with Gareth Chapman replacing Roger Davies Morgan was switched to full back.

But it was the hosts who scored next, again from an interception near their own 22, this time by wing Steve Ellis who raced away to the far corner. Not to be outdone, Ryan Howells then contributed a superb individual effort of his own to put his side 43-12 ahead with 12 minutes left.

In the 71st minute namesake Matthew Howells immediately made his mark as replacement hooker with a try in his first competitive game for the club and Gareth Davies converted. It was end-to-end stuff and there was more for Bethesda to be proud of as from turnover ball they brilliantly exploited an overlap for hooker Steve Roberts to cross.

Finally,as the game reached injury time Matthew Howells gained his second try to end a landmark occasion rugby in the area. Equally importantly, the Cardiff club had furthered their own reputation in north Wales.


Official : Huw David (Wales)

Bethesda Cardiff