Bridgend Ravens ended the season with a third consecutive win, this time over Cross Keys, at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.
The victory sees Bridgend end in ninth place, ten points clear of Swansea who were relegated despite a bonus point win at St Helens over Neath. Aberavon’s four try bonus point in defeat to Carmarthen Quins saw them beat the drop by just one point.
The game started at a slow pace, dictated by conditions which were horrible all afternoon. With the wind in his favour, Angus O’Brien was able to land two penalties for Cross Keys to give them the initiative.
It took twenty minutes for Bridgend to get to grips with conditions, but when they were finally able to get some ball, Nathan Edwards was the beneficiary of a lovely team move to cross the whitewash. Dixon landed the conversion despite the tricky wind.
As half time neared, Dixon was able to battle the elements to slot another penalty, after former Raven, Nathan Trowbridge, deliberately knocked on as it seemed the Ravens were going to score a second. That second try did not take long, as Ashleigh James scored his ninth try of the season after some deliberation amongst the match officials. To score, James simply picked up the ball to bundle over in the corner. This time, Dixon’s conversion was caught in the wind and dropped short. As the half time whistle sounded, Bridgend were well in control and on course for a huge win over the Gwent side.
HT: Bridgend 15-6 Cross Keys (2-0T).
The second half was one dominated by error, but this was as much down to the heavy rain as it was to poor execution. Bridgend always looked the more likely to score, and were unfortunate on a number of occasions. Adam Williams was a constant thorn in the Keys defence, and Chris Williams probed from the base of the ruck to keep the defence on their toes. Other notable performances came from Ashleigh James & Jamie Murphy, although this victory was a sterling team effort.
Murphy capped a fine performance by landing two late penalties, despite the conditions to confirm his side’s superiority.
Bridgend Ford Man of the Match: Ashleigh James
Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of the Match: Jamie Murphy
Bridgend Scorers: Tries: Nathan Edwards (22) & Ashleigh James (38). Conversion: James Dixon (22). Penalties: James Dixon (34) & Jamie Murphy (79, 82).
This match report was written on software provided to Bridgend Ravens by our official IT supplier, Aspect.