Blackwood vs Bargoed
Bargoed won a nail biter at Glan yr Afon Park but it would have been a different outcome had Blackwood outside half Jeremy Roberts put over a relatively simple conversion to go with his try late in the game and three earlier penalties.
The Blues took the lead in the eleventh minute. Hooker Leigh Meades threw to number eight Lewis Wayman at the front of a lineout on the Blackwood twenty two. Wayman returned the pass to Meades who made ground before passing inside to Gareth Davies for the flanker to score against his former club. Josh Prosser converted well from the touchline and make it 0-7.
Roberts put over the first of his three penalties from in front of the posts when Bargoed defenders were penalised for not releasing. Blackwood had an opportunity to go in front when centre Nathan Gittings wrong footed the Bargoed midfield with a juggle and regather before putting Rhodri Usher free and only a try saving tackle from Andrew McLaughlan which stopped the winger from going over.
Just before the half time whistle, Bargoed hooker Leigh Meades put in a huge tackle on prop Kieron Brown and Blackwood second row Lloyd Exton went in hard to help out and referee James Langdon took exception to it and showed Exton the yellow card. Half time went with Bargoed in front at 3-7.
Blackwood were first on the scoreboard with another Roberts penalty after 52 minutes. Referee Langdon equalled the yellow card score with Bargoed’s try scorer Gareth Davies going to the bin in bizarre fashion. Blackwood replacement scrum half Mark Birkby had taken the ball back over his own try line with Langdon signalling a scrum five to Bargoed, Davies, trying to retrieve the ball, got into a push and shove affair with Blackwood players and Langdon penalised the flanker and flashed the yellow card.
Despite being a man down Bargoed, pressed Blackwood at a scrum and from the ensuing ruck, Meades popped up with the ball and burst towards the Blackwood line. Scrum half Mike Roberts found Josh Prosser in space and a flat pass to Andrew McLaughlan cutting a fine angle saw the full back go over in the corner. Prossers’s conversion went wide but Bargoed were in front at 6-12 as the game entered the final quarter.
Roberts and Prosser traded kicks to make it 9-15 after 74 minutes and Bargoed should have put the game beyond Blackwood with a length of the field move involving replacement centre Matthew Hutcheon and wing Lewis Protheroe but the final pass to Gareth Dare went forward.
With the clock winding down, Blackwood almost took the game with a last minute try - Josh Prosser’s clearing kick charged down by Birkby with Jeremy Roberts on hand to finish it off just left of the posts. Remarkably Roberts’ conversion was pulled wide and there was sufficient time for the restart. With four minutes injury time played centre James Pizey, now playing at scrum half, became the third player to be sin binned and a final chance for Blackwood to steal the game came to nothing from the 45 metre penalty and Bargoed clinched the win by a single point 14-15