Cardiff avenged defeat to Bridgend earlier this season by seeing off the Ravens at the Arms Park on Saturday.
Bridgend started the better of the sides. Backed by a significant travelling support, the Ravens took the lead in the fifth minute following a penalty from James Dixon. The momentum remained with the visitors, and having replaced Matt Dwyer minutes earlier, Ashleigh James bundled over for a try after some excellent work from the Bridgend forwards. Dixon put the conversion wide, but the Ravens were in a dominant position after just twelve minutes.
The Blue & Blacks were never going to lie down and accept defeat, but Bridgend’s much criticised defence held firm through a number of Cardiff attacks. Cardiff were not without fault, with Luke Hamilton fumbling the ball as he looked certain to score. Moments later, Tom Slater picked up the ball off Hamilton to dart over unopposed in the corner. The excellent Dean Gunter put over the conversion.
From the kick off, Cardiff stormed forward with fresh impetus. James Loxton was almost given the freedom of Cardiff to smash over for his sides’ second try, which was converted by Gunter.
It went from bad to worse for the visitors – David Barry receiving a yellow card just seconds later, allowing Gunter to further enhance Cardiff’s lead. The only consolation was that Ross Jones was able to reduce the deficit before the interval with a penalty goal.
HT: Cardiff 17-11 Bridgend (2-1T).
The second half started on a sour note for the Ravens, with James Dixon leaving the field injured. Encouragingly, his replacement was Jamie Murphy, just returning from injury to give the Ravens a huge boost ahead of their end of season run in. Dixon was injured after preventing a certain Cardiff score, with a nasty looking bump to his head.
In a double blow for Bridgend, hooker Ash James was then yellow carded for an off the ball incident which saw a number of players involved to the amusement of the Arms Park crowd. Despite being a man down, Ross Jones was able to send a long range penalty straight through the uprights to put Bridgend right back into the clash.
The Ravens continued to compete well, and can count themselves unlucky. Both sides spurned try scoring opportunities amidst a raft of substitutions, but it was Cardiff who would score the games decisive try.
Some slick hands from the capital side saw James Loxton race away to score near the posts, a try converted by Gunter.
A yellow for George Lee halted Cardiff in their hunt for a bonus point. Bridgend looked certain to score after a Tom Grabham break which saw Lee infringe and deny a certain try scoring opportunity. No penalty try was awarded, but Bridgend used their numerical advantage to cross out wide through Dai Barry, Jones nailed the conversion.
It was all too little too late for Bridgend, as Sean Brickell awarded Cardiff a penalty, which Gunter successfully kicked at goal, to extend their advantage and end the game.
This match report was written on software provided to Bridgend Ravens by our official IT Supplier, Aspect.