Bridgend Ravens secured their Premiership status for another campaign, following an excellent win at St Helens.
Tries from Nathan Edwards & Ashleigh James proved pivotal as the Ravens completed the seasons double over the Whites to confirm Premiership rugby will be played at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field for a fourth consecutive season.
The first half was played at a sluggish pace, with both teams making numerous errors. Cameron Clement put wide a penalty in the thirteenth minute and his side were made to pay for his error. After some patient build up play, Bridgend worked the ball to Nathan Edwards, who was able to barge his way over the line for the games first try. Dixon kicked an excellent conversion.
Six minutes later, Dixon missed the chance to extend his sides lead with a penalty attempt before scrum half Chris Williams was yellow carded for the Ravens. This should have been a pivotal moment in the game, but Bridgend held firm when Swansea attacked and looked the more likely to score, despite being one player down.
The only consolation for Swansea was a Clement penalty ten minutes before the interval. As the half time whistle sounded, it was the Ravens who were well on top, despite holding such a fragile lead.
HT: Swansea 3-7 Bridgend (0-1T).
Swansea started the second half at electric pace and raced into the lead. With new impetus, and a significant wind now in their advantage, Clement was able to reduce the arrears to one point.
Straight after the kick off, Swansea broke numerous tackles in the Ravens midfield before spreading the ball to ex-Bridgend boy Rhys Williams who raced over the whitewash. The half was just five minutes old and Swansea now held a six point lead, having trailed by four at half time.
Bridgend continued to play positive rugby despite being behind. A sensational break from Adam Williams almost resulted in a second Bridgend score, but Nathan Edwards fumbled with the line at his mercy. In terms of scoring opportunities, Dixon attempted two shots at goal, which both fell victim to the strong wind which was now blowing into the faces of the men in blue.
A significant factor in the Ravens victory was undoubtedly the yellow card of Ospreys on loan number eight, Perry Parker for repeated infringements which saw Swansea reduced to fourteen players. While Parker was off the pitch, Bridgend were able to turn their dominance into points.
A series of attacks in the corner for the visitors resulted in a powerful driving maul. Ashleigh James broke off the back to dive over in the corner. The try was greeted by rapturous celebrations by the significant number of travelling supporters. The score left Dixon with a supremely difficult conversion, which he made light of to give Bridgend the lead with just ten minutes to go.
Swansea embarked on a series of late attacks in a bid to keep their survival hopes alive. As the clock hit eighty, Bridgend turned over the ball, but a loose kick from wing Rhys Ward Jones gave Swansea one last shot at the game. As the All Whites earned a penalty kick, Cameron Clement had the chance to steal the points. His kick certainly had the legs, but was just wide of the posts to send the Ravens players and supporters into delirium as they celebrated a first away win of the season.
Bridgend Scorers: Tries: Nathan Edwards, Ashleigh James. Conversions: James Dixon (x2).
This match report was written on software provided to Bridgend Ravens by our official IT supplier Aspect.