Battling Bridgend Ravens suffered a heartbreaking last gasp defeat at a rain soaked Parc y Scarlets as Llanelli secured a late penalty try to snatch victory at the death with a 14 points to 12 win.
Former Bridgend Wing Ashley Evans went over out wide for the hosts with little over 10 minutes played. Ryan Griffiths looked to have taken his man into touch but referee consulted with assistant and the try was awarded. Fresh from Wales U20 duty, Billy McBride sent his touchline conversation just wide.
Bridgend soaked up the Llanelli pressure, keeping the hosts out for the remainder of the half and the Ravens went on to level the score with 30 minutes on the clock.
With Bridgend struggling to break through the Llanelli defence, Marc Bennett kicked into the 22, Mike Powell refused to give up the chase and made the tackle on his man, forcing the hosts to concede a 5 metre lineout. The Ravens formed an unstoppable maul, as the powerful drive saw Ashton Evans dot down. Joseph Scrivens’ conversion was sent just wide to leave the scores level at the break.
HT Llanelli RFC 6-6 Bridgend Ravens
The Ravens immense second half efforts saw them leading with little over a minute left on the clock. Bridgend got themselves into the lead with a first league try from young Centre Morgan Jones. Again the kick in behind the Llanelli defence caused problems for the hosts, Ryan Griffiths making the most of a kind bounce. The Bridgend Wing made ground in the Llanelli 22 but was brought down within 10 metres of the line. Bridgend ensured the ball was recycled quickly and edged towards the line. As the hosts’ defence was sucked into each breakdown, gaps appeared out wide where the centre was able to slide over. Scrivens missed the crucial wide conversation to leave the Ravens with a slender 6 point lead.
The visitors defended heroically as Llanelli sought a score to get themselves back in front. The hosts made little ground but the Ravens conceded a penalty that was kicked to touch 6 metres out. The Llanelli maul was stopped well by Bridgend but the hosts tried to bust through the Ravens defence from close range. Bridgend held the ball up over the line, giving the hosts a great opportunity from the close range scrum.
With the clock ticking towards 80, Llanelli sensed the opportunity to snatch a late victory, the ball was not going to leave the scrum. A slight edge for the hosts saw their scrum creep forward. A penalty was awarded to the Scarlets side who opted for another scrum. As the hosts again edged towards the line, the ball was left behind, Will Baird cleared down field but the referee brought play back to award the hosts another penalty. Again the scrum option was taken and again Llanelli edged towards the line. With the scrum turning, referee Jason Bennett, ran towards the posts to award a penalty try. An automatic 8 point score saw Llanelli sneak into a two point lead with seconds remaining. The hosts cleared the ball into the stand to leave the Ravens heartbroken.