2009/2010 SWALEC Cup
Bedwas 24 v 34 Cardiff
27 March 2010 - Bridge Field, Bedwas

Match Report

Bedwas 24 Cardiff 34

If last week's Premiership defeat at Bedwas was more a case of the wettest rather than the darkest hour before the dawn, then this crackerjack of a cup encounter restored the spring in the step of every Blue & Blacks' supporter.

Twenty minutes before the end there seemed every possibility of the hosts being on the cusp of a notable league and cup double and all within the space of eight days. Then Cardiff discovered some long overdue game management techniques and clinically closed the game down in the final stages and deservedly advanced into their first semi-final in three seasons.

Bedwas had started where they left off last weekend with centre Nathan Williams making a scything break and Matthew Pizey again crossing in the right corner – and all against the stiff wind.

Cardiff responded in style with four tries before the interval. Tom Slater was calling the shots in the number 9 jersey and his quick tap penalty caused panic in the home defence and when the ball was recycled Craig Morgan benefited from a huge overlap and easy try.

Gareth Davies, like his opposite number Adam Greendale, was experiencing difficulty with his goalkicking in the swirling conditions but was still on the scoreboard as Slater again provided the scoring pass for the fly-half's sixth try of the season. Then Slater went one better himself with a brilliant individual effort and try at the posts. This time Davies added the extras and with a 17-5 lead after 25 minutes the Blue & Blacks were well in control.

To complete a good 40 minutes of work they opted for a five-metre scrum after Deri Mattravers was binned and were immediately awarded a penalty try and a comfortable 24-5 interval cushion.

On the resumption, it was not so much a case of soft furnishings as hard labour with 14-man Bedwas immediately claiming an unlikely seven-pointer. Attacking off a penalty advantage, replacement Luke Dyckoff drove forward and Nathan Williams finished the move for Greendale to convert.

Cardiff were now giving a convincing impression of headless chickens with a succession of poor and far too high kicking into the teeth of the stengthening wind. A moment's respite came when Dan Godfrey found Darren Ryan with a deft inside pass for the centre to cross and Davies to convert. Panic over, or so it seemed before Bedwas scored 12 points in four minutes as first another ill-conceived high clearance kick fell into the grateful arms of Stuart Thomas who ran through unopposed for a soft converted try and then Mattravers, back in the thick of the action, set up hooker Aaron Fowler for his side's fourth try of what had become a classic cup-tie. With Cardiff holding on to a precarious seven points' advantage with still a quarter of the game to play, no bets were being taken on the outcome.

Then the ebb and flow of the match turned again as the visitors finally, if belatedly, realised that their fate would be determined by an ability to retain possession rather than kick it up into the air and hope for the best. This they did with a vengeance, squeezing the life out of the opposition in the final ten minutes as pick and go, ad nauseum, became their route map to the semi-final.

Their patience tested to the limit, Bedwas eventually – and inevitably – conceded a penalty in injury time and Davies' 20-metre penalty settled the result of what had been a stirring cup-tie and credit to both sides.

Official : Leighton Hodges (Wales)

Bedwas Cardiff