A full strength Aberavon side put a young Ravens squad to the sword in the latest Foster’s Cup clash.
The third round of the Fosters Challenge Cup saw a youthful Bridgend Ravens squad travel to the Talbot Athletic Ground to face off with regional rivals Aberavon in the first of the back-to-back festive fixtures between the two sides.
With a little over five minutes played, both sides had already registered a converted try apiece. Jay Baker raced over from 60 metres for a fine individual score, converted by James Garland. Marc Bennett touched down with the only Ravens try of the match shortly after. Bennett’s excellent break got the Ravens up to the Aberavon 22, where indiscipline from the hosts helped edge Bridgend toward the Wizards line. Two driving lineouts, both halted illegally got the visitors within five metres where quick thinking scrum half Will Baird tapped and sent Bennett over out wide. Joseph Scrivens added the touchline conversion to level the scores.
The Wizards went on to dominate the rest of the match, wrapping up a bonus point before the break. Ian Moore, Jay Baker and Sam Williams all added tries in the first half.
Bridgend Ravens’ Will Baird was shown a yellow card at the halfway point of the first half, followed shortly by Aberavon back row Lee Purnell.
HT Aberavon 28-8 Bridgend Ravens
The Ravens worked hard early on in the second half to get themselves back into the match. Replacement wing Ryan Griffiths was unable to gather a wide pass in the Aberavon 22, the best chance the Ravens had throughout the second half.
It took until the 63rd minute for the Wizards to score their fifth try of the match. A lineout move deep in the Ravens 22 opened a gap for scrum half David Pritchard to storm up to the try line. A neat offload saw Sam Williams crash over for his second of the match.
With the Ravens down to fourteen men late on due to injury and no available substitutes, Aberavon added a sixth. A strong driving maul led to a try from Ben Davies.