A determined Bridgend Ravens effort was in vain as Llandovery went top of the Principality Premiership with a handsome victory.
Bridgend Ravens 2016 got underway with a disappointing defeat at Church Bank, where hosts Llandovery took advantage of postponed fixtures to leap to the top of the league. Despite the heavy rainfall, all credit must go to the Llandovery ground staff who worked hard to ensure that the game did go ahead. The Drovers had too much for the young Ravens team on the heavy pitch, utilising their powerful pack and strong kicking game to play rugby in the right areas,
The opening 20 minutes were dominated by Llandovery, the Ravens defence worked hard and held firm, frustrating the hosts.
Bridgend built their way into the game and had their chances throughout the first half. Llandovery indiscipline handed the Ravens good field position but the visitors were unable to convert a five metre lineout drive. Another opportunity arrived as Ryan Evans intercepted deep in his own half and hacked upfield. Llandovery won the race to the ball and were able to clear.
It looked as though the first half would end scoreless with both sides making handling errors in the poor conditions. However, a Llandovery penalty, with the clock well into the red, was kicked to the corner and the hosts took full advantage of the opportunity. A powerful drive up to the line saw Richard Brooks claim the game's first points with the try out wide.
HT Llandovery RFC 6-0 Bridgend Ravens
The Drovers dominated the second half, but Bridgend battled in defence to keep themselves in the game. Tom Ball got the hosts second try with 53 minutes played. This time Jack Maynard added the tough wide conversion. Maynard added a further two points with a penalty to push the Drovers out to a full two converted score lead with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The hosts made sure of the win with two late scores, whilst securing a try bonus point in the process. Number 8 Richard Brooks added his second, again the driving maul proving too powerful to defend. A second try in two minutes arrived thanks to a quick thinking cross kick. A penalty in the Ravens 22 was accurately chipped to wing Aaron Warren who added the hosts fourth try. Replacement Flyhalf James Davies added both conversions to push the Drovers out to a 32 points to nil lead.
The Ravens defensive effort was admirable throughout the match, with two scores in the final two minutes leaving a daunting scoreline for the visitors to look back on.