Brecon RFC | Brecon Athletic 18 - 16 Beddau RFC | Beddau Chuckles
Ben Griffin
Penalty 1
Sam Davies
Try 1
Gareth Price
Conversion 1
Penalty 1
Rhodri Jenkins
Try 1

Match Report
12 May 2024 / Team News

Brecon Athletic 18 - Beddau Chuckles 16

Brecon Athletic brought their season to an end with an exciting Cup Final victory against high flying Beddau Chuckles. Both teams have enjoyed successful seasons and it was fitting that they should meet in the Ivor Williams Cup Final played at Abercwmboi on a hot dry Spring afternoon. The match was always likely to be a close contest between two very good sides. Earlier in the season Beddau inflicted one of only three defeats on the Brecon team whose season’s record boasted twenty wins and a draw from their total of 24 matches. When the return match was played at Parc de Pugh, at the end of January, Brecon turned the tables and won a very close match to end Beddau’s unbeaten run. So, with a win apiece it was all to play for in an enthralling Cup final.

Brecon started the final the better of the two teams. They looked sharp and forced Beddau onto the back foot. Beddau defended well but Brecon soon claimed an early lead when outside half Gareth Price slotted a penalty between the uprights.

The early lead helped to build confidence and for most of the next ten minutes Beddau were forced to defend. With so much at stake, Beddau showed great resilience and held out in spite of some powerful surges from the likes of props Iwan Dowling Jones and Josh Hamilton, the back row pairing of Davey Herdman and Matthew Williams and second row Will Prosser. Apart from the stubbornness of the opposition, Brecon also suffered from an underperforming line out. Frequently they worked themselves into good positions only to fail to win the ball cleanly at the set piece. Beddau capitalised and with almost their first attack of the match won a penalty on the Brecon 22 and Kaelum Bundy levelled the scores with a successful penalty.

It wasn’t long before Brecon hit back to restore their lead with a superb try. The phase of play started with Brecon attacking on the Beddau 22. Rhodri Jenkins, who was one of Brecon’s stand out players, crashed through midfield only to lose the ball in contact. Beddau kicked clear and chased hard. Brecon scrum half Sam Hellard gathered the ball under pressure and did well to resist the first hit and lay back good ball on Brecon’s ten metre line. Brecon forwards kept the ball alive with a couple of hard drives and then delivered ball for the backs on half way. Good hands from James Hellard and Rhys Peters gave wing Ben Griffin some space. It was all he needed. His pace took him outside the first defender and then he cut inside the next and with the cover coming across found Rhodri Jenkins on his inside. Collecting the pass on the 22 Jenkins cantered over for a try which Price converted.

Brecon should have increased their lead before half time as they dominated territory and came close on a number of occasions but Beddau remained in the fight with last ditch tackles and turnovers helping their cause.

The second half started with a brilliant Rhodri Jenkins take and run from the kick off. Immediately they were again attacking on the Beddau 22 but with their line out struggling they knocked on and Beddau were able to relieve the pressure and start to apply some of their own. Brecon’s defence had to be good to hold them out. Tommy Witcomb, Daffydd Edwards worked hard to plug any gaps and the siege was lifted. Brecon then put themselves in a great position to score. Again, Ben Griffin was the instigator. A great kick ahead, chase and tackle on the Beddau 5 metre line should have yielded a score but overeagerness at the breakdown resulted in Beddau winning a penalty and clearing only for Brecon to score in an unexpected fashion. With Beddau looking threatening and moving the ball across the backline on Brecon’s ten metre line, wing Sam Davies brilliantly read the pass and intercepted. He had a lot to do but his pace took him to the line for a try.

With Brecon now leading by fifteen points to three, it was beginning to look as if they had put themselves into a winning position but that was far from the truth. With backs to the wall, Beddau upped their game. Suddenly they were winning territory, putting Brecon under severe pressure at every breakdown and carrying powerfully. They earned their reward in bizarre fashion. It looked as if they had scored wide out on the left but the referee brought them back for a penalty to Brecon, only for that to be reversed on the advice of the assistant referee. Brecon player received a yellow card and Beddau took a tap penalty. Flanker Harry Bryant drove through a tackle and crossed for a try.

Now with the lead cut to seven points nerves started to jangle but not as much as they did when Beddau reduced the lead to just two points. The score came after a poor Brecon kick out of defence. The Beddau left wing caught the ball on half way and carved his way through the Brecon defence before putting right wing Jordan Coombes in for a try. Worse was to follow. Almost immediately Brecon were caught offside and on the 76th minute, Bunday gave Beddau the lead with his second penalty. The dream of a Cup Final win for Brecon almost seemed over but with Dewi Edwards, Matthew Williams, Davey Herdman and captain Josh Millichap, leading by example, won Brecon a penalty. With the front line kickers struggling with injuries the responsibility was handed over to Ben Griffin. He was forced to wait for several nerve-jangling minutes as an injury was dealt with but finally, he cooly stroked the ball between the uprights and effectively sealed Brecon’s Cup victory with just two minutes remaining.

At the final whistle the contrast between winners and losers could not have been greater. Brecon were jubilant while Beddau, who had fought back brilliantly and were within minutes of victory themselves, saw their hopes dashed with the referee’s final blast. In the final debriefing, team manager and coach, Gari Davies, who has managed the side brilliantly throughout the season, thanked the players for their whole hearted efforts throughout the match and the season as a whole.