Llanelli 22 Bedwas 32
LLANELLI’S final home match of the Premiership season ended in defeat as they were beaten by a classy Bedwas side in soaking conditions at Parc y Scarlets.
Scrum-half Justin James, centre Jonny Lewis and replacement Elliot Rees all touched down for Llanelli but it was not enough as they lost for the 11th time in the league this season.
Tries from flanker James Thomas, full-back Garyn Payne, replacement Richard Wilkes and wing Andrew Evans gave the Gwent outfit revenge after they were thumped 48-16 in the reverse fixture in October.
Llanelli made a disastrous start as Bedwas charged down a clearing kick to allow Thomas to dab the ball down for the game’s first try inside the first minute – with James Dixon adding the conversion.
And they stretched their lead in the fifth minute as the ball was spread from left to right before Payne darted over the whitewash from 30 metres out – with Dixon slotting the extras again.
Llanelli grew in confidence as the rain continued to lash down in West Wales – although they struggled to turn penalties into points despite dominating the scrum.
But the hosts were eventually rewarded after yet another powerful scrum saw James, on his 200th appearance, hack the ball forward before touching down for Llanelli’s first try which was converted by Billy McBryde.
Bedwas responded in devastating fashion as replacement Wilkes crossed over after impressive work by Dixon but Lewis punctured through the visitors’ defence to run in a try only three minutes later – with McBryde’s conversion making it 22-16 to Bedwas at the break.
Dixon split the posts with a penalty on 51 minutes to move Bedwas eight points ahead as both sides made a raft of changes.
And the visitors sealed the bonus point as former Wales international Aled Brew raced through the heart of Llanelli’s defence before feeding Evans to score – with Dixon converting.
Replacement Rees crashed over from the back of a rolling maul late on – but Bedwas held on for their 10th league success of the campaign.
Llanelli take on Neath at The Gnoll in their next outing on April 16 before travelling to Rodney Parade to face Newport in their final match of the campaign on April 23.
Llanelli: Tries: J James, J Lewis, E Rees; Cons: B McBryde (2)
Bedwas: Tries: J Thomas, G Payne, R Wilkes, A Evans; Cons: J Dixon (3); Pen: J Dixon