BEDWAS have got back on their feet after the chaos of Storm Dennis to ensure they will be open for business when the green light is given to return to Championship action, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Bridge Field club had a strong response to Premiership relegation on the field in 2019/20 but a challenging one off it.

Their ground was hit hard by flooding in February with damage to the clubhouse bars, function room, cellar and changing rooms while furniture and bar equipment was destroyed.

Coach Stefan Sankala's squad saw their season ended early by the coronavirus pandemic but volunteers have still been hard at work, repairing and renovating.

"It has been quite an unbelievable year for Bedwas rugby club," said director Will Rees. "Just when we thought we were over the hump from the flooding we became swept up in the COVID-19 pandemic!

"We have made good use of the time and space that lockdown has afforded us over the last few weeks.

"Our hardworking volunteers have been able to work safely down the club to help with repairs and renovations and we are very grateful to them and the donors who helped make this possible.

"When we are finally able to open the club again, subject to Welsh Government regulations, we will have a wonderful facility for the community to enjoy once again. This will hopefully also be in addition to a new rugby season in the not too distant future."

South Wales Argus:

(Picture by Ian Lovell)

Bedwas had an encouraging season in the Championship after Sankala and his management team had to rebuild following relegation from the top flight.

They sat third when the Welsh Rugby Union cancelled the season with a record of 13 wins from 17 games, while they also pushed Premiership champions Merthyr hard at the Wern in the WRU National Cup.

Sankala has been recruiting and retaining for the coming campaign with the aim of pushing Pontypool and Bargoed hard at the head of the table.

He said: "2020 was one of the strangest and most humbling ends to a rugby season we've seen. The frustration and trauma caused by the floods both on and off the field was clear but to then be involved in this pandemic is surreal and of course goes beyond sport.

"In quick reflection, I am extremely proud in the majority of our performances in the last season and I feel with a fully fit squad a few results would have gone our way.

"Given the time to finish the season I am certain we would have finished strongly and pushed the top sides very close.

"That said, we are a close club and one where we build from within a competitive climate and that will continue.

"We are all itching to get back onto the field and show everyone our appreciation for the hard work going on behind the scenes."