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Neath 30 Bargoed 12

Bargoed travelled to Neath looking to recapture the form that they showed in their three victories against Cross Keys, Llanelli and Aberavon.

They were looking for a good performance and some much needed points to push on from their current 12th place position in the Principality Premiership.

They were faced with a much changed Neath side who had seen an exodus of players in the last week, but who still had players of the calibre of Gavin Evans, Regan King and Aaron Bramwell in their back division.

Bargoed started well in front of a partisan crowd with emotions running high in the home sides ranks. Good approach work saw wing Duane Dyer cross for the opening score and Josh Prosser duly converted for a 7-0 lead.

Neath struck back when impressive young centre Kieran Williams broke through and was caught a couple of metres out from the Bargoed line. Neath managed to recycle and rumble over for a converted try to level the scores.

Bargoed bounced back and when they got a position in the Neath half they moved the ball and powerful wing Ashley Norton crashed over for Bargoed to lead 12-7.

Bargoed continued to dominate territory and were in the driving seat, when they got a penalty 25 metres out from the home line. Surprisingly they decided to kick to the corner to squeeze the Welsh  All Blacks.

Neath managed to defend the driving line-out and Bargoed turned the ball over, allowing Neath to make their way into Bargoed territory. The Bulls then conceded a penalty which saw Callum Hall step up to make it 12-10.

The home side were now in the ascendancy and with Bargoed struggling at the set piece they were really under pressure. When Bargoed conceded another penalty Callum Hall made no mistake for Neath to lead 13-12 at half time, and the momentum was now with the home side.

Bargoed made some changes in the front row with Rhys Morgan, Lewys Lippiett and Dan Suter coming off the bench, and Louis Blacker replacing Bryce Morgan in the boiler house.

Neath came out for the second half with all guns blazing, and with the support from the stand it seemed to spur them on as they started to dominate territory. The pressure told when centre Regan King went over for a converted try and Bargoed suddenly found themselves 20-13 down.

Neath continued to press and scored again through a kick and chase with Callum Hall winning the race to score a try which he also converted to lead 27-13.

Bargoed lacked composure under this pressure with a raft of errors from both backs and forwards compounding the problems. Neath did manage to kick another penalty and the final whistle saw the home side come out on top 30-12.

This was Bargoed’s poorest performance of the season, and although Neath were clearly inspired by the support, with emotions running high, Bargoed disappointingly failed to deal with it. They started well but lost their way and momentum after they let Neath into the game before half time.

The set piece and a lack of penetration and accuracy in attack were the main problems that the Bulls encountered. They were far too lateral in attack and failed to win the contact collisions on many occasions.

Bargoed will look to rectify this in training as they move into another important week with Swansea on the horizon for the next Friday night encounter. The All Whites are now level on points with the Bulls, so this promises to be a tasty match up in the Premiership.

Bargoed RFC

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