Bridgend Ravens continued their remarkable form against Premiership Champions Pontypridd with four wins in five matches throughout 2015.
The Ravens travelled to Sardis Road looking for a first Fosters Challenge Cup win following the narrow defeat to Cardiff last time out. Bridgend faced a daunting task, the hosts racking up 50 unanswered points in the early season encounter between the two sides at a ground that the Ravens had not won at for 9 years.
The hosts dominated the first half as multiple try scoring chances went begging. The first points of the match arrived with 30 minutes played, Bridgend captain Zac O'Driscoll was penalised and shown a yellow card. Pontypridd outside half Troy Cusack slotted the penalty to hand the hosts a two point lead which would be the only score of the half. Bridgend spent 20 minutes of the match down to 14 men as Fullback Mark Bennett was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on in midfield just as Zac O'Driscoll returned.
HT Pontypridd 2-0 Bridgend Ravens.
The Ravens upped the intensity after the break, creating their first chance of the match shortly into the second half. A lineout close the Pontypridd line was driven close but stopped short, Bridgend sent the ball wide where Ryan Griffiths again went close but the Pontypridd defence held out and cleared.
With an hour played, Pontypridd finally went over for the first try of the match. A penalty kicked to the corner was driven towards the line. The Ravens defence initially held out well but Pontypridd went wide where Fullback Dale Stuckey was able to dive over. The conversion was sent wide to leave Bridgend behind by 8.
The Ravens hit back almost immediately. Pontypridd wing Alex Webber was shown a yellow card and the visitors kicked to the corner. The maul was driven up to the line and replacement Nicky Boyce burrowed over. Joseph Scrivens added the conversion to level the scores.
Possession was dominated by the hosts late on as they went looking for a winning score. A loose pass from Ponty was gathered by flyer Ryan Griffiths deep in the Bridgend 22 and the wing set off upfield. Griffiths showed he had more than enough pace to dot down out wide but Scrivens’ conversion was sent wide to leave a nervy final five minutes for the Ravens to hold on.
Pontypridd tried to break down the Bridgend defence late on but the visitors kept up their impressive defensive intensity to the final whistle to see the Ravens come away from Sardis Road with a historic 14 points to 8 win.