The Ravens headed to Sardis Road in search of their first points of the season, but a late Pontypridd comeback saw Bridgend leave empty-handed.
Ryan Evans pushed and early effort on goal wide after a scrappy start to the game.
With nine minutes on the clock Pontypridd powered over for their first try of the game, no.8 Owen Sheppeard touching down after a strong maul from the hosts. The conversion was missed by Lewis Williams.
Twelve minutes in, Pontypridd scrum half Lloyd Williams received a yellow card for cynically stopping an attempted quick tap penalty. The Ravens kicked to touch and James Dixon was able to get Bridgend’s first point of the match as he slid over in the corner. Ryan Evans missed with the conversion attempt.
Bridgend had the edge at scrum time and were able to force a penalty. The Ravens kicked to touch and set up a driving maul, making some hard yards. Tom Morgan made a telling break and some great work saw Thomas O’Flaherty score Bridgend’s second try of the game. The conversion was missed as half time approached.
Some excellent scramble defence late on in the half from the Ravens kept Ponty at bay as Bridgend went in at the break with a five point lead.
HT Pontypridd 5-10 Bridgend Ravens (1-2T)
The Ravens raced out of the blocks to start the second half, winger Thomas O’Flaherty showed his pace as he kicked ahead and chased it down to score under the sticks 30 seconds into the half. Dixon added the extras as Bridgend looked to upset the champions.
Bridgend were playing some great rugby and went searching for a fourth try, twice coming close, before knocking on 10 metres out. From the scrum the Ravens were penalised as Pontypridd made their way from 22 to 22 very effectively. The hosts kicked the penalty to touch at the halfway line and were awarded another penalty. A consecutive kick to touch saw Ponty get to within five metres of the Ravens line and one penalty to many conceded by the Ravens resulted in Kyle Evans being shown a yellow card. Pontypridd’s Lewis Williams slotted the penalty as the hosts looked to launch a comeback.
The man advantage gave Pontypridd the opportunity to find some gaps in the Ravens defence. A territorial kick to the corner from the hosts kept the pressure on Bridgend. A faulty lineout handed possession back to Pontypridd as they looked to spread the ball wide. Some great initial cover defending saw the Ravens keep Ponty out but quick recycling and an inside ball resulted in a Simon Humberstone try. The replacement fly half added a conversion to bring the score to within two points.
Three minutes later the hosts were able to reclaim the lead as a neat lineout move saw Ponty captain Dafydd Lockyer slice through the Ravens defence and score the hosts third try of the match. Humberstone added the conversion.
With both benches emptied, the final twenty minutes of the game became scrappy and disjointed. With three minutes to play, Simon Humberstone missed a penalty from right in front of the posts, hitting the upright.
With time almost up, a chip in behind the Ravens defence sent replacement fullback Tito Tebaldi scampering back to his own try line. Tebaldi threw a speculative pass that resulted in a five metre scrum for the hosts. The Ravens were penalised and a quick tap penalty from Lloyd Williams saw the scrum half dive over the line earning the hosts a bonus point, whilst snatching a losing bonus point away from Bridgend. The conversion was missed but time was up as Pontypridd ran out 27-17 winners.
FT Pontypridd 27-17 Bridgend Ravens (4-3T)
Bridgend Scorers: Tries: James Dixon, Thomas O’Flaherty (2). Con: James Dixon