2011 didn’t begin the way the Blue & Blacks would have wanted as they slipped to a home defeat against Bedwas.
The early minutes were dominated by the home side but with the pitch having a light covering of snow at the start the ball was spilt on several occasions. Eventually though pressure did tell. The visitors committed a couple of offences, and Gareth Davies punished them with a penalty form wide out.
Bedwas had come with a plan and they began to utilise their pick and drive game to great effect, moving up field to eventually gain the levelling score, kicked by Stuart Thomas. It was to get better five minutes later after a series of drives had been repelled by the home defence the ball to found its way to Phil Sargent wide out. The number eight going over for a try converted by Thomas.
Thomas’ boot was to dominate the rest of the game. Cardiff just couldn’t get the ball and when they did loose kicking and handling errors gave it away. Bedwas’ confidence grew, and with a dominance of possession it was enevitable that more points would come. Thomas duly obliged with a short-range penalty just before half time to give the visitors a 13-3 advantage.
The Blue and Blacks started the second half brightly. Scott Sneddon, on for the injured Davies slotted a penalty to give them a lift. Thomas though cancelled this out two minutes later, and the lead was extended by Ian Smerdon’s speculative drop goal after 50 minutes. When Thomas added his forth penalty five minutes later things looked bleak for the Blue & Blacks.
A fight back of massive proportion was needed and with a raft of replacements on the field the home side started to get things moving. Knowing that the only way back into the game was to score tries Cardiff used the back line to great effect. Working the ball from one side of the field to the other space was created for Nathan Rees to score, Sneddon adding the extras to give them hope.
This newfound confidence in spinning the ball out wide brought further reward. The visitors were now defending for their lives, but Cardiff kept coming and coming, looking for a victory that was seamed very unlikely ten minutes earlier. When Kris Barry finished off a move that had seen the ball spun through several pairs off hands the conversion gave them a chance to steal the game. Unfortunately from the touchline it went just wide.
From the restart Cardiff failed to secure the ball, and Bedwas nearly squeezed in the corner to make the game safe, but with the clock against them Cardiff’s effort finally fell just short to leave the home crowd disappointed. Next up is trip to Aberavon where the Blue & Blacks will be looking to kick-start 2011.