Bridgend Ravens suffered a heartbreaking defeat at Sardis Road with Pontypridd’s late rally downing Bridgend by just a point.
An incredible first half display saw 8 tries, with Bridgend outscoring the hosts 5-3, as both teams showed they wanted to play positive attacking rugby from the outset.
Ryan Griffiths gave Bridgend the lead with less than a minute on the board thanks to an intercept deep in the Pontypridd 22. Jamie Murphy converted.
Ponty hit back as Bridgend indiscipline handed them great field position. A sweeping move saw the try arrive out wide with Sweeney landing the difficult conversion. Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of The Match Gareth Harvey added the visitors second score, diving over from close range following a succession of lineouts deep in the hosts 22.
Again, Pontypridd struck back quickly with Sean Moore awarded a try. Ceri Sweeney's conversion edged the home side in front for the first time in the match.
Bridgend upped their game with a little over half an hour played, going on to score three magnificent tries. First, Jonathan Phillips rounded under the posts following Aaron Grabham’s burst out wide. The lively wing produced the perfectly timed offload to find Phillips who was able the outpace the covering defence to score. Murphy converted.
Directly from the resulting kick off, Bridgend added a their bonus point try. Rhodri Apsee broke away charging into the Ponty half. Dafi Davies carried into the 22 where he found Connor Tantum in support. The scrum half was taken high but Bridgend continued with the advantage and the ball made its way out wide to Ryan Griffiths who stepped brilliantly passed the final defender to bag his second try of the match.
Bridgend then added a third try in five minutes as debutant Stuart Floyd-Ellis sliced his way through the host’s defence. Connor Tantum was again on hand and this time was able to round the fullback to score under the posts. Jamie Murphy added the extras to push the Ravens into a 17 point lead with very little time left in the first half.
A last gasp try for the hosts will have disappointed the Ravens, as Pontypridd closed the gap to 10 at halftime.
HT Pontypridd RFC 21-31 Bridgend Ravens
Despite both teams continuing to play exciting rugby, the first points of the second half were recorded at the 60 minute mark. Jamie Murphy added a penalty before adding a second shortly after.
It was heartbreak for Bridgend however, as a late resurgence from Pontypridd saw them bag two converted tries and plus a late penalty from Diggy Bird to seal a single point victory.
Bridgend took two bonus points with them from Sardis Road, but were left deflated following Pontypridd's late fightback. A huge improvement in performance will boost the Ravens’ confidence which will be much needed as Bridgend face two of the in-form teams in the Principality Premiership in the next two weeks.