Bargoed faced Caerphilly at home on the weekend in a Dragons Cup tie.
Bargoed were playing up the slope on the Duff and were also playing into the wind. They started positively with some great defence against a Caerphilly side with a big carrying game. Captain Luke Cusack was leading from the front alongside the other back row boys Keaton Davies and Jack Price.
The midfield were also prominent in defence with Jones, Matthews and Mayo solid, and Mayo looking dangerous in attack with ball in hand.
Bargoed were struggling with their kicking game as they missed touch a few times and were then driven back down the field.
Both sides were well organised in attack and defence and Referee Steve Union did a great job in managing the game and the emotions of both sides with his firm but fair approach.
Bargoed are blessed with some quality back rowers and when they lost Keaton Davies to injury, he was replaced by Kyle Bailey.
Bargoed’s front row of Toms and Hodson worked hard in front of A’Herne and Kelly in the boiler house, and dominated the opposition scrum.
Caerphilly opened the scoring after 30 minutes though as Bargoed’s defence around the ruck was slow to react to an inside ball, the try was converted and they led 7-0 at half time.
Bargoed brought Jake Rees off the bench who made an impact with the other front row boys.
There were a couple of key moments in the second half where Bargoed could have scored, the first saw lively scrum half Ieuan Morgan go so close to scoring in the corner but good defence denied him.
The second was started with Joel Griffiths making a break but poor handling let them down. The third was an incident where it looked like no. 8 Jack Price had scored in the corner after a great run but he was adjudged to have been in touch.
Bargoed didn’t stretch the visitors enough in the wide channels and failed to get the ball to Richards and Cooper who both looked dangerous with ball in hand.
Bargoed had enough opportunities to win the game comfortably but a combination of passing inaccuracy in attack, poor decisions and gritty defence from the visitors saw Caerphilly take the spoils and move into the next round.
This was only their second defeat of the season and this squad need to learn from this, knuckle down and work hard. There were positives in defeat but they now need to work on those areas identified as they go into next week’s game against Pill Harriers at home.
This squad are well capable of winning some silverware this season, but you have to put the work in to reap the rewards. The boys attitude to training is important and getting it right on the training paddock, working hard and learning from this defeat will help them to succeed in the big games that are coming up.