Bridgend Ravens made it four wins in four as their fine form continued against Champions Pontypridd at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.
The current league leaders were downed thanks to an exhilarating second half blitz that saw Bridgend collect a second bonus point win of the season.
Bridgend dominated early possession, notching the games first score thanks to a penalty from Joseph Scrivens. The first try of the match arrived shortly after, Marc Bennett adding to his tally. Ryan Griffiths hacked on toward the try line but knocked on a couple of metres short. A scrum penalty kicked to touch five metres out gave the Ravens the chance to maul towards the line. A strong Ponty defensive effort saw Bridgend spread the ball wide and Bennett was able to burrow over and touch down.
Pontypridd worked their way into the game as Bridgend indiscipline handed the visitors some possession and territory. The Ravens defended multiple mauls in their own 22 well, holding out but unable to clear down field. Further constant pressure from Ponty eventually told with scrum half Joel Raikes sniping from close range, the conversion was sent wide to afford Bridgend a slim two point lead.
Pontypridd continued to pressure the Bridgend line which led to a yellow card for wing Ryan Griffiths following a string of penalties. The Ravens held on to their slim lead despite the visitors man advantage, the Bridgend defence worked tirelessly to keep themselves in front as half time arrived.
HT Bridgend Ravens 8-6 Pontypridd RFC
The Ravens made a flying start to the second half, scoring three tries in just seven minutes, wrapping up a try bonus point in the process.
The first try of the flurry came with five minutes of the second half played. A scrum at halfway led to a wide move where Michael Powell was able to beat his man and race away towards the line. The wingers precise inside ball to the supporting Joseph Gatt saw the centre crash over. Scrivens added the conversion.
Moments later Geraint Watkin pounced on a loose ball at the back of a ruck and made great headway up field. Quick recycling left gaps in midfield and Gatt sliced through, centre repaid wing and the final pass allowed Powell to touch down. Joseph Scrivens was on target from wide to add the conversion.
A yellow card for Pontypridd replacement Huw Dowden further boosted the Ravens confidence. A kick to the corner saw the maul well defended by the visitors but Bridgend hammered away, working hard upfront. Gatt again found a big gap in the Ponty defence and burst over for his second of the match, the bonus point try for Bridgend. Scrivens conversion attempt hit the upright.
With the game slipping away from the visitors, they set about trying to haul themselves back into the match. A yellow card for try scorer Michael Powell afforded Pontypridd some space out wide, where their second try would come. A quick tap penalty forced the Bridgend defence to scramble back but a wide pass to Geraint Walsh saw the Ponty Fullback dive over. The difficult conversion was sent wide to keep Bridgend ahead by three scores.
The Ravens spent the majority of the final quarter defending deep in their own half as Pontypridd tried everything they could to get something from the match. Bridgend put their bodies on the line late on, an impressive defensive display forced errors and halted all promising attacks that the visitors created.
A clinical display in attack from the Ravens coupled with the immense defensive effort helped inflict a crushing defeat on league leaders and current Champions Pontypridd.