Bridgend Ravens earned a deserved bonus point in defeat at Eugene Cross Park on Saturday afternoon.
A ten try thriller played out at Eugene Cross Park saw the Battling Bridgend Ravens come away with a try bonus point in a forward dominated display from Ebbw Vale.
The Hosts spent the opening period of the match on the front foot, with an early driving maul held up over the line by the Ravens. The Ebbw Vale maul, their go to weapon all afternoon, eventually led the their first try with Ronny Kynes touching down.
Five minutes later Bridgend got themselves level thanks to a sweeping move, from one side of the pitch to the other. Dale Rodgers, waiting on the wing, burst over the line.
The Steelmen wasted no time in regaining the lead as a neat chip and gather over the Bridgend defence saw Nathan Preece slide over. David langdon missed the conversion
Another driving maul from Ebbw Vale led to their third try of the first half. Gethin Robinson awarded the score, but a third missed conversion left the Ravens with hope of a fightback.
As the half came to an end, Bridgend went hunting for a score to drag themselves back into the match. Ebbw indiscipline gave the Ravens great field position and the visitors built a promising attack. Powerhouse centre Owen Watkin burst through the waiting defenders and the teenager had the skills to put Nicky Boyce over. Scrivens added the conversion to narrow the gap to four points.
HT Ebbw Vale 18-14 Bridgend Ravens
The Ravens pack were under pressure early on in the second half, leading to a yellow card for Nicky Boyce. Fullback Dan Haymond went over out wide in the space vacated by Michael Powell, the man sacrificed for the front row replacement. Langdon landed his first conversion to extend the hosts lead to 12. The sin bin proved very costly for the Ravens as Ebbw Vale notched a second converted try, scored by Jordan Howells, to stretch the hosts into a 20 point lead.
Bridgend continued to work hard, and were again able to haul themselves back into the match. Ryan Evans read an Ebbw Vale backline move to intercept and race in under the posts from 50 metres out. Shortly after, the Ravens made ground out wide and stormed into the Ebbw 22. Quick ball left the hosts defence short where Owen Watkin, breaking more tackles, strolled over to dot down under the posts. Joseph Scrivens converted both scores to narrow the gap to just four points.
Ebbw Vale went back to the driving maul late on and were able to secure the victory with their sixth try of the match. As the maul again approached the line a quick pop pass to Chris Thomas saw the scrum half dive over.
The Ravens showed great character throughout the match but were unable to complete their promising fightback and had to settle for a try bonus point.