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Ebbw Vale 19 – 14 Bargoed

This was a game that both sides needed to win and it could have gone either way. In the end, a determined second half from the Steelmen and a moment of controversy leading to a penalty try gave the points to the home side.

Bargoed took an early lead from the boot of fullback Matthew Lewis only for Lewis Dennett to square it after 12 minutes.

The scrums had been competitive from the outset and one went down on the Ebbw twenty two with both front rows enmeshed in some grappling on the floor. Referee Aled Evans decided that Bargoed’s loose head Rhys Morgan and Ebbw Vale tighthead Rob Sevenoaks were responsible for some afters and both had yellow cards. Lewis Lippiett was injured in the collapse and had to be placed by Geraint Clarke. However, Bargoed got the penalty and Lewis put them back in front.

The Bulls seemed to cope better than Ebbw with being one short and when Ian Smerdon put a penalty to the corner, a clean catch and well developed drive saw replacement hooker Clarke come up with the ball. Lewis’ conversion from wide out failed but Bargoed were 3 -11 up after half an hour.

Dennett got a penalty back on the stroke of half time to make it 6-11 at the break.

The home side certainly had the better of the first 20 minutes of the second half. Two penalties from Dennett and full back Dan Haymond nudged them ahead before a crucial intervention by referee Evans gave the home side a significant advantage. A diagonal kick deep into the Bargoed twenty two seemed to be well covered by David Evans and the wing touched down and ran back towards the twenty two for a drop out. Referee Evans however, decided that the ball had been carried back and gave the Steelmen a scrum five metres out. Bargoed were penalised, another scrum was called, it went down under pressure and a penalty try was awarded. The made it 19-11 as the game entered the final quarter.

Bargoed hit back with a Smerdon penalty and Grant Rogers put in a late burst, made twenty metres and was stopped on the Ebbw line. The ball was recycled but the Bulls couldn’t take advantage and the referee called them back for a penalty five metres out and home centre Dom Franchi was sent to the bin for not releasing in a scoring position, crucially however, there was no penalty try.

A final piece of drama saw Jordan Howells fling out along pass for wing David Evans to cross out wide to square the scores with a conversion to come, only to see referee Evans indicate a forward pass. Ebbw cleared from the scrum and that was it. Bargoed had to be content with a losing bonus point.

Ebbw Vale RFC

Bargoed RFC

28 October 2017

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