After a very frosty start the Wanderers had their Memorial Ground at Ely in perfect playing conditions for the kick-off. It was Wanderers calling the early tunes and a Luke Fish penalty had given them a deserved lead. Beddau were looking less than settled and with Wanderers using props Curtis Hicks and Peter Lloyd as ball carriers to set up a firm platform for the supporting forwards there was barely a chink of light.
Half backs David Francis and Hywel Chatham finally found a way forward and Joe Casella was given a half chance on the outside. That was snuffed out but with Wanderers now offending at a breakdown Chatham`s fine touch finder allowed a catch and drive which saw Jordan Goodwin score in the corner.
Again Wanderers attempted the sledgehammer approach and while it gave them time in Beddau`s half very little was being produced behind the pack. The forwards had by now begun to cough up some penalties, mainly for preventing release, and Beddau were looking to open up. From a tap and go scrum half David Francis raced away, hurdled one tackle and had the pace to reach the line for a try that Hywel Chatham, on his 99th appearance for the Club, converted.
It was 3-12 at half time and Beddau were having to hold the home side at bay until Chatham found a great 50 metre touch. Lloyd Evans made the catch and though Wanderers held the first surge hooker Jack Dando arrived to grab the ball and dive in for Hywel Chatham to convert.
Luke Fish and James Loxton made some headway for the Wanderers and at the breakdown Beddau flanker Matthew Howells was shown a yellow card as tempers were starting to ignite. The penalty to touch gave Wanderers a chance which seemed to have gone when the ball went loose. Number 8 Jake Conway acted quickest, though, and gathered in before stretching for a good score.
When Jack Dando was clattered by a suspiciously offside Peter Lloyd, however referee Mr Jason Morris had seen nothing untoward. Luke Fish sent up a steepler and though Cody Baker claimed it comfortably his attempt at a counter attack saw him penalised for not releasing when Ryan Owen`s tackle came in. Fish opted for the posts but play was halted while the stricken Dando was still receiving attention. With the hooker finally carried off Wanderers now wanted to attack from the penalty but the referee correctly pointed out that the option to kick the goal could not now be changed. Luke Fish landed the points.
There was barely a minute of sin-bin time remaining but, with Dando now off and Howells the sinner being the nominated replacement hooker Beddau had to reshuffle. Cerith Jones came on at loose head so that Ben Stephens could move to the middle. It hardly mattered as one scrum later Howells was waved back on. Ironically, at the next breakdown Peter Lloyd was carded for some vigorous footwork. Beddau used the penalty to good effect and from a blistering Cody Baker break, the ball sped through the threequarters until Jordan Goodwin stepped a marker and notched his second try of the afternoon. Hywel Chatham converted.
A restored Wanderers spent time in the Beddau 22 and a try was butchered by attempting to cut in to the posts before crossing the line. Adam Ashford`s fine tackle dislodged the ball and from the scrum Beddau swept downfield. Good tackling slowed things but the ball reached replacement Glenn Slater, a Number 8, who scorched along the touchline as to the manner born. His offload found Cerith Jones who has never troubled the scorers before and with the line coming ever nearer that thought must have entered his head. His pass was a good one and Matthew Howells grabbed the try. Hywel Chatham`s conversion brought proceedings to a close.
Report by Lynn West