Bridgend Ravens
2014/2015 Swalec Cup
Bridgend 22 v 20 Quins
11 April 2015 - Talbot Athletic Ground, Port Talbot
Carmarthen Quins

Match Report

Carmarthen 20-22 Bridgend

Bridgend Ravens reached their first Welsh Cup final in 25 years with a last ditch semi final victory over Carmarthen Quins at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

The Ravens will run out at the Millennium Stadium in the Swalec Cup Final, where they will face Pontypridd on May 3rd (5:35pm).  

Despite the Ravens poor league results against Carmarthen this season, they managed to outscore their opponents 4 tries to 3 and edge the victory with a last gasp try.

The Quins started well, building numerous phases edging toward the Ravens line. Rory Gallagher was awarded a try as he bundled towards the line. Craig Evans failed to convert.

Bridgends scrum was on top throughout the match and won two early penalties that the Ravens chose to kick at goal. Owen Howe was unlucky with both as a strong wind caused problems for kickers all afternoon. 

The Ravens first try if the match was partly down to the blustery conditions. A poor clearance kick handed Bridgend an attacking lineout and a quick blindside move sent Chris Williams racing down the wing. The scrum half had more than enough pace to score in the corner. Howe missed a tricky wide conversion to leave the scores level.

The Ravens second try arrived shortly after. Another lineout move saw the ball passed infield and Adam O'Driscoll rounded his defender to stretch over. This time Howe landed the conversion to hand Bridgend a 7 point lead.

The match suffered due to poor handling with both sides guilty of squandering attacking opportunities.

The Quins were beginning to dominate possession and territory during the second quarter but as they attacked the referee issued a yellow card to try scorer Gallagher and the attack was halted.

As halftime approached Carmarthen fullback Chris Banfield scored a try after the Ravens looked to have turned the ball over but handed it back to the Quins with more poor handling. The conversion was missed to leave the Ravens with a two point half time lead.  

HT Bridgend Ravens 12-10 Carmarthen Quins

Just like in the first half, an early try for Carmarthen pushed them back in front - Iolo Evans touching down on this occasion. The try was converted to heap the pressure on the Ravens.

The tense situation of the match seemed to be showing as it took until the 70th minute for the next score to come. A maul drive from the Ravens following a penalty kick to the corner allowed influential captain Ashleigh James snipe over to draw Bridgend level. The chance to take the lead was missed as Howe's conversion sailed wide.

The scores didn't remain level for long however as directly from the kick off Ravens indiscipline handed Quins the opportunity to retake the lead. Replacement Dan Jones slotted the penalty to edge Carmarthen back ahead with little time remaining.

As the clock ticked on the Ravens turned down an opportunity to level the scores and kicked to the corner.

An initial thrust from the Ravens saw Ben Jones held up over the line. A 5 metre scrum awarded.

With the Ravens strong scrum evident all game long this presented a fantastic opportunity. A penalty was won from the initial scrum and the Ravens packed down again, potentially pushing for a winning score. With the scrum edging forward the backs took their chance to strike. Chris Williams took possession and passed wide to the blind side attackers. Tom O'Flaherty was waiting on the wing and the flyer dived over out wide to send the Ravens faithful into hysteria. The conversion was missed to leave a tense end to the match as there was time for the kickoff. The ball was secured and thumped out by James Dixon and the referee blew for full time. 

Attendance: 600

Bridgend Quins