What a disappointing game. Ebbw Vale travelled to lowly Bedwas last Saturday, and came away with a 20-23 loss.
With a howling gale blowing down the ground towards the clubhouse, it was always going to the proverbial ‘game of two halves’ and everyone realised that the game would boil down to who could make best use of the elements.
Ebbw were never in the game in the first half playing into the wind, and were lucky to end the first half only 20-0 down.
'International' referee Huw Watkins had a shocker of a game, spending more time preening than refereeing. He stopped the game to remind coaches about how many could stand in the ‘technical zone’ and how many could sit in the dugout.
Then he decided to referee the crowd as well. After the touch judge made a mark for a lineout, the Bedwas forwards stood directly on the mark. Rather than get them to move back a yard, the touch judge moved downfield. When an Ebbw fan in the crowd pointed this out to the touch judge, the referee waded in and threatened to send off the spectators and demanded to see club officials.
All the while the stop-start game was dying on its backside.
The second half was better for Ebbw although an injury to Neil Edwards slowed lineout possession and a cynical move by Bedwas to ask for passive scrums in the last minutes of the game following a prop’s yellow-carding spoilt any chance of Ebbw making its forward superiority count.
On the stroke of full time Ebbw got their third try which tied the game at 20-20. However, the ref somehow conspired to find 11 minutes of injury time in the second half, which allowed Bedwas to claim a late penalty and kick the winning points.
There are match reports on the websites of Ebbw Vale RFC and the South Wales Andrex.
Scorers: Tries for Ian George, Anthony Lott and Gareth Maule. One penalty and one conversion for sub Simon Hunt.
Man of the Match: Matt Griffin, for a pile of hard graft.
Next game: home to Pontypridd on Friday night, 7:30 kick off.