Bridgend Ravens came away from Cross Keys with a losing bonus point after a tight fought affair at Pandy Park.
It was a cold and wet day in Gwent, which suited the host’s forward orientated style. However, it was the Ravens who struck first. An excellently worked backs move, started by the impressive Adam Williams, saw Luke Morgan feed Ross Jones to score in the corner. James Dixon’s conversion went wide, via some assistance from the wind.
Cross Keys fought back, with a Rhys Jones penalty, followed by a penalty try minutes later. The penalty try was the result of a number of penalties near the Ravens line at scrum time. The conversion was added by Jones.
The game turned into a tactical affair, with loose kicks dominating the first period. A Rhys Jones penalty saw Keys extend their lead minutes before the break. With seconds left of the half, the Ravens gained some good field position resulting in a penalty, which Dixon sliced past the post.
HT: Cross Keys 13-5 Bridgend.
The second half was a similar affair. Loose tactical kicks and handling errors from both sides were again a feature of the half. An error by the visitors resulted in ex-Raven Nathan Trowbridge racing away to put Cross Keys clear on the scoreboard, with a successful conversion from Jones.
All hope seemed lost for Bridgend, but as Keys set up another attack, James Dixon charged in to score a fifty metre interception try, which he converted. This put Bridgend back into the game, and spurred on the significant travelling contingent in the shed.
Bridgend were now dominant, but a yellow card for Scott Hicks halted the attacking flow. The fourteen men of Bridgend held firm, and a James Dixon penalty put them even closer on the scoreboard.
Cross Keys kept the game tight in the last ten minutes, and held out for a closely fought win against Bridgend – their third consecutive victory over the Ravens.
Bridgend Scorers: Tries: Ross Jones (16), James Dixon (53). Conversions: James Dixon (53). Penalty: James Dixon (72).