Bridgend Ravens finished the season in style with a hard earned victory over this season's SWALEC Cup Finalists Carmarthen Quins at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.
The Ravens built a 10 point first half lead which they managed to protect in the second to claim a seventh Principality Premiership victory of the season.
Bridgend raced into an early lead as Iestyn Merriman dived over out wide with just five minutes on the clock. A great touchline conversion by Joseph Scrivens pushed the Ravens out to an 8 point lead.
Carmarthen didn't take long to hit back as Dylan Morgans claimed the visitors first score. Strong Bridgend defending made the visitors work hard 5 metres out but the considerable Quins pressure eventually told as the centre went over out wide. Craig Evans added the conversion to draw Carmarthen level.
A first half full of excitement continued as Mark Bennett intercepted and raced towards up field just as Carmarthen looked to work an overlap. The visitors scrambled well to halt the fullback's surge.
Scrivens added a penalty to edge the Ravens back into the lead before Ryan Griffiths touched down for the Ravens second try. Bridgend turned the ball over on halfway and immediately launched a counter attack. Griffiths' jinking run saw the wide man beat his opposite number plus the covering defenders to dot down under the posts. Joel Matavesi, taking over the kicking duties, slotted the extras.
The Ravens added their third try just before halftime. A Bridgend knock on from the kick off handed Quins a promising scrum just outside the Bridgend 22. As the visitors looked to execute a centre field move, Joseph Scrivens intercepted and was able to race in under the posts unopposed. Matavesi added the conversion, which would prove to be the hosts last score of the match.
Carmarthen were able to add a second try before the half time whistle arrived. With 45 minutes on the clock, the visitors kicked a penalty to the corner.
Shaun Jones got the ball down over the line, Craig Evans added the conversion to narrow the gap to 10 at half time.
HT Bridgend Ravens 26-16 Carmarthen Quins
A second half stalemate appeard to be on the cards as both teams struggled to break down the opposing defences. Both sides were down to 14 men during the second half. Zach O'Driscoll was shown a yellow card on 65 minutes and five minutes later Carmarthen Flanker Shaun Evans was also sent to the bin.
With 79 minutes on the clock, Carmarthen managed the only score of the second half. Replacement scrum half Kieron Hardy got the try, a poor conversation left Bridgend with a slim 4 point lead.
Carmarthen sensed a chance to steal victory late on, making good ground from the kick off. The Bridgend defence, impressive all afternoon, held firm to secure the win that lifts Bridgend above their West Wales opponents in the league table and gives the Bridgend faithful reason to be optimistic ahead of next season.