Bridgend put in a much improved performance to come within a whisker of downing Ebbw Vale at the Morganstone Brewery Field on Saturday.
The Ravens and Ebbw met at the Morganstone Brewery Field for the second time in a week, this time facing off in the Principality Premiership. The Steelman had comfortable disposed of Bridgend’s cup hopes earlier in the week, but Bridgend put in a heroic effort to come close to turning the tables this time out.
The Ravens dominated for the majority of the first half, a polar opposite of Tuesday's National Cup clash, and should have opened the scoring on a couple of occasions before their first try arrived. Ryan Griffiths came closest, knocking on just short of the line, but the home faithful wouldn’t have to wait much longer for the breakthrough.
Ryan Evans made a break into the Ebbw 22 following a neat Jamie Murphy offload. Evans looped a pass out wide which Jonathan Phillips picked up to claim his third try in just his fourth start for Bridgend. Evans sent the conversion just wide.
Ryan Evans and Callum Hall traded penalties before Bridgend bagged their second try of the match. Evans was again pivotal in the build up and produced a soft offload to Nathan Edwards who just had enough pace to race over from the 22. Evans converted to push Bridgend into a 15 points to three lead as halftime approached.
Indiscipline from the hosts handed Ebbw Vale great field position with the clock in the red. Bridgend worked hard to keep the visitors out but the Forward power of the Steelmen was too much and the pushover try arrived courtesy of powerful No8, Cameron Regan.
HT Bridgend Ravens 15-8 Ebbw Vale RFC
An entertaining start to the second half saw both teams playing expansive rugby. Ryan Evans extended the Ravens lead with just over 15 minutes of the second half played.
The Ebbw Vale forwards continued to dominate up front, just as they did on Tuesday night, and earned themselves a penalty try on the 65 minute mark to give them the momentum heading into the closing stages.
The immense effort from the Bridgend defenders was clear to see, but the Ravens were unable to see the game out as Tuesday's Star man struck again, this time from the bench. Dragon Dorian Jones landed two late penalties, first to level the score, then to push his side three points ahead with just a couple of minutes remaining.
Bridgend pushed late on, turning down the chance for three points and a draw instead opting for a lineout to try to earn a late win, but the hosts’ efforts were not quite enough and Bridgend fell just short despite the clear turnaround since the cup tie just four days earlier.