Bridgend 21-23 Pontypridd

Bridgend Ravens fell to an agonising last minute defeat to old foe Pontypridd at the Morganstone Brewery Field.

Bridgend dominated the opening quarter and raced out to a 13 nil lead. Owen Howe landed an early penalty before the Ravens bagged an opening try. Turning the ball over near midfield saw Bridgend launch a quick counter attack. Stuart Floyd-Ellis straightened the attack and broke through the Ponty line. The centre produced a sublime offload for Chris Willams and the scrum half raced over. Howe added the extras.

Owen Howe landed an additional penalty shortly after the 20 minute mark before Pontypridd worked their way into the game.

The visitors maul, powerful all afternoon, drove to within a metre of the line. Ferocious Bridgend defending saw the Ravens repel Ponty for a number of phases before an offside penalty close to the line saw Dafi Davies shown a yellow card. Ben Jones slotted the penalty to get Ponty on the board.

Pontypridd added a try capitalising on their man advantage, again the powerful maul drive proved effective as Bridgend couldn’t hold out and the try arrived shortly before halftime.

HT Bridgend Ravens 13-8 Pontypridd RFC

Early in the second half, Ponty managed to level the score with a second try. The visitors were camped in the Bridgend 22, initially a huge scrum from Bridgend forced the visitors back but the Referee awarded Pontypridd the penalty. A second scrum saw Bridgend shunted well backwards before the ball was fed but
Pontypridd were awarded a free kick. Ponty shifted the ball wide quickly and the try arrived out wide.

Straight from the kickoff the Ravens showed their potent attacking threat returning a poor Pontypridd clearance. Sending the ball wide to Dewi Cross allowed the Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of The Match to break, Cross beat the Ponty cover and found Captain Nathan Edwards who raced over for the try. Diggy Bird on as a replacement added a penalty to narrow the gap to just two points. The replacement would go on to have a huge impact on the match. Nathan Edwards was shown a yellow card for an offence near halfway, a second yellow of the match for the Ravens, though Bridgend managed to hold out even adding to their score with three more from the boot of Owen Howe.

With the clock winding down Bridgend won a penalty which looked to have secured the result, however the kick to touch lacked accuracy and Pontypridd had one last chance to down the Ravens. The visitors countered and Bridgend just couldn’t hold out, winger Dale Stuckey touched down out wide, levelling the tie with a conversion to come. Diggy Bird nailed the conversion to break Ravens hearts at the death.