Bridgend Ravens were dumped out of the Swalec Cup at Championship side Bargoed on Saturday.
The Ravens started the tie the livelier of the two sides, with number eight Scott Hicks going close, and his back row partner Andrew Waite also testing the resolve of the hosts. Bargoed stood firm in the face of this pressure, but were unable to prevent Lewis Williams kicking the visitors into the lead.
The pressure from Bridgend continued, as Glen Holloway and Lewis Williams began to peg back the Championship outfit. Crucially, they missed a number of glaring opportunities to spread the ball wide and Bargoed capitalised on this. With great forward momentum, hooker Lee Meads pounced over from short range to the delight of the partisan home crowd. The conversion was added by the impressive Prosser.
Immediately, the Ravens had a chance to draw close on the scoreboard but Williams slotted the kick wide from distance. Again, this was to be a telling moment as Bargoed’s dominance at scrum time led to a penalty try as the pack drove rapidly towards the try line. Prosser added the extras to give Bargoed control of the tie, and hope of springing another upset.
The end of the first half belonged to the Ravens, but their pressure was to no avail as the hosts went in with a significant advantage.
Half Time: Bargoed 14-3 Bridgend Ravens
The visitors needed an improved performance in the second half to get back into the game. Backed by a fantastic travelling contingent, the Ravens played their way back into the contest with some sensible territorial kicking. They created chances for wingers Ward-Jones and Grabham out wide, but Scott Hicks was to provide the scoring touch. Williams put the conversion wide of the uprights.
The try rejuvenated the efforts of the Bridgend players, and they began to play with intelligence and flair. This saw a lovely backs move and a flick from Captain Jon Vaughan land straight in the hands of winger Rhys Ward-Jones who finished out wide. Again, Williams put the conversion wide, but it seemed that it would not be long until the Ravens were to take the impetus in the encounter.
Bargoed deserve the utmost credit for the way they responded. The Championship outfit held out well in the face of adversity, forcing errors from their Premiership visitors. On their rare flurry in to the oppositions half, they earned a penalty which Prosser slotted to increase the margin.
With just ten minutes to run, Bridgend looked to steal the game. Lewis Williams sent a kick long up field, with Nathan Edwards coming close to the winning score. However, it was not to be for Bridgend, as Bargoed held out for another famous victory.
Bargoed: Tries: Meads, Penalty. Conversions: Prosser (2). Penalty: Prosser.
Bridgend: Tries: Hicks, Ward-Jones. Penalty: Williams.