After a scoreless opening twenty minutes, Ben Thomas kicked the hosts into a 3 – 0 lead and prop Marc Thomas crossed the line to hand the Ravens a ten point cushion.
Llanelli fought back ten minutes later through scrum half Aled Davies to make the scores 10 – 7. However, Ross Jones scored on the stroke of half time to ensure the home side went in to the break with an eight point lead.
The sides exchanged penalties in the second half and made tactical and forced substitutions but a try for Llanelli centre Nic Reynolds looked to have swung the game back to the visitors.
However, minutes later, Jones secured the win for the Ravens with his second try, intercepting a wayward pass to sprint in from 55 metres out.
Llanelli started the game in strong fashion - showing why they only narrowly missed out on lifting the Principality Premiership trophy last season - by dominating possession in the early stages. In fact, they looked certain to score twice but were scuppered first by a sloppy pass and then a knock-on over the line.
Both kickers then missed penalties before Ravens fullback Thomas broke the deadlock. Soon afterwards, a kick from Jones was chased hard by fly-half Jamie Murphy who secured an attacking lineout five metres from the Llanelli line. This was then driven over the try-line and Marc Thomas emerged as the player at the bottom with his hands on the ball.
Llanelli worked hard to provide a response and ex-Raven Kristian Phillips looked certain to score as he chased his own kick, only to knock the ball forward over the line. But then with half-time approaching, Owen Williams broke through and found scrum-half Aled Davies who dove between the sticks to get the visitors on to the scoreboard.
The Ravens refused to lie down though and after more defensive hard work in their own 22, managed to scramble a kick away down the centre of the field. Glenn Lewis showed an incredible turn of pace to chase the kick and turnover possession, with the ball then finding Ross Jones who found a gap between two defenders to touchdown for his first of the afternoon.
HALF-TIME: Bridgend Ravens 15 – 7 Llanelli
Both kickers exchanged penalties in the ten minutes after half-time and the scoreboard read 18-13 to the Ravens with half an hour remaining. Soon afterwards, Bridgend’s scrum-half Tom Habberfield went down with a nasty looking injury and was loudly applauded as he was helped from the field after a lengthy stoppage.
Several substitutions for both sides disrupted the flow of the game but after some slick backs play from Llanelli, centre Reynolds crossed the line to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the game. However, as they looked to pull further in front, Ross Jones pounced on a looped pass and no one could get near him as he sprinted in from within his own half.
A nervy final ten followed for the Ravens as Llanelli came back to within two points but the home side prevailed and arms were raised aloft when Neil Perkins sounded the final whistle.
FULL-TIME: Bridgend Ravens 25 – 23 Llanelli
Ravens: Ben Thomas, Luke Morgan, Nathan Edwards, Ross Jones, Glenn Lewis, Jamie Murphy, Tom Habberfield, Marc Thomas, Matthew Dwyer, Jonathan Thomas, Alex Jones, Lee Davies, Jonathon Vaughan, Lloyd Evans, Scott Hicks
Subs: Ashleigh James for Dwyer (62), Ken Dowding for M Thomas (55), Dan Suter for J Thomas (62), Adam Hillier-Rees for Hicks (66), Shaun O’Rourke for Jones (78), Rhys Williams for Lewis (67), Ashley Evans
Llanelli: Johnny Lewis, Kyle Evans, Nic Reynolds, Steffan Hughes, Kristian Phillips, Owen Williams, Aled Davies, Rhys Thomas, Kirby Myhill, Aled Hopkins, Lewis Rawlins, Nathan White, Nic Cudd, Dan Thomas, Craig Price
Subs: Shaun Hopkins for R Thomas (64), Craig Hawkins for Myhill (73), Adam Powell for White (60), Duane Eager for D Thomas (60), Justin James for Phillips (68), Diggy Bird, Bowdy Davies for Evans (40), Jamie Kaijaks
Man of the Match: Ross Jones
Referee: Neil Perkins