Bargoed faced a new challenge on Saturday as they took on Ystalyfera in a National Championship fixture at Bargoed Park.
There are no recorded previous games in Bargoed’s history against the Swansea Valley side, but this was a cracking game in difficult conditions.
It was the visitors who were out of the blocks quickest with a penalty from full back Steffan Castle after 4 minutes.
The home side bounced back, and after a period of pressure with Bargoed’s scrum dominant it was No. 8 Adam Powell who picked up the first try with a pushover.
Bargoed increased their lead when dangerous wing Steffan Thomas scored after a driving line out and cleverly scripted attack, Steffan Jones converted to make it 12-3.
Bargoed were edging the territory and possession stakes but a lack of accuracy in attack and hard working defence from Ystalyfera prevented them increasing the lead.
They did add to their tally though when Steffan Jones sidestepped his way over after another scrum threat, and then converted to make it 19-3 after 24 minutes.
It looked like Bargoed were going to increase their lead with a flowing attack but an interception saw them chase back and scramble in defence as they were under pressure in their own 22.
They managed to withhold the attack of the visitors and when they turned the ball over they bravely ran the ball from behind their own line.
They recycled the ball through a number of phases for back rower Grant Rogers to go in under the posts, with Jones converting for a bonus point try and a 26-3 lead at half time.
Bargoed were again under pressure at the start of the second half, and defended well before bombing a great try scoring chance, and a minute later Duane Dyer was yellow carded for a high tackle after 46 minutes.
Bargoed worked hard and kept a clean sheet when they down to 14 players.
They increased their lead after 61 minutes when Darren Humphries took the ball flat from a scrum 20 metres out to score a try which Jones converted.
Bargoed made some changes, and they scored again shortly after when they showed patience in building a multi-phase attack before Steffan Thomas showed great speed and strength to crash over. Callum Jones converted to make it 40-3.
Bargoed’s final score came from a driving line-out with Adam Powell bagging his second try, Callum Jones again converted for a final score of 47-3.
Bargoed will be pleased with the result and their resolve and organisation in defence, but disappointed with the lack of accuracy in attack.
Chairman Neil Carter commented ‘We’re pleased with the win against a well organised side who put us under significant pressure at times.
We have a number of difficult games on the horizon and we know that we’ll need to build and improve on today’s performance if we are to remain in contention later in the season’
It was great to see Ystalyfera and Bargoed players, coaches and supporters stay at the club for a few beers, and Bargoed will reciprocate when they travel down later in the season.
Bargoed now look forward to entertaining old rivals from down west in Narberth, who will be dangerous and hurting after their defeat to Glamorgan Wanderers last weekend. This game should be a cracker so get up there and support the boys. Kick off 2.30pm.