Bridgend Ravens were defeated by title chasing Cross Keys in the re-arranged Principality Premiership clash at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.
The game was postponed so that the last 16 SWALEC Cup match between the sides could take place. Keys came out on top in a close fought game by 13-20 that evening, and Saturday's league encounter was a familiar tale.
The visitors got off to a dream start, finding themselves 16 points to the good with just 10 minutes of the half played. Fly Half Ethan Davies and Wing Matthew Powell got Keys’ early scores with former Raven Owen Howe adding both conversions to leave Bridgend with a mountain to climb early on.
The Ravens struggled to work many attacking opportunities as the match settled into an even contest with both defences on top. With the clock ticking towards 40 minutes, Matthew John was shown a yellow card as Keys attacked in the Ravens 22. Bridgend held out for the remainder of the half to give the hosts hope of a second half fightback.
HT Bridgend Ravens 0-16 Cross Keys RFC
The second half almost started in the same fashion as the first, with Keys camped on the Ravens line. Strong Bridgend defending, importantly, managed to hold Cross Keys out.
The hosts continued to work hard creating a great attacking opportunity with a scrum in the visitors 22. The Ravens spread the ball wide and an excellent tap pass from Marc Bennett set Michael Powell away down the wing. The flyer had more than enough pace to dive over out wide. Joseph Scrivens’ tough conversion from the touchline fell just short.
Cross Keys added a third try, again from a penalty kicked to touch. Scott Matthews was able to sneak over out wide. Howe converted to push the visitors out to an 18 point lead as the final 10 minutes approached.
The Ravens struck back with a near identical move to their first score. Marc Bennett's handling skills again affording Powell some space out wide. This time the wing had to shrug off the covering defence to score his second of the match. Scrivens pushed the conversion wide leaving Bridgend needing to make up four points to secure a losing bonus point.
Bridgend sensed a late chance to secure a point from the match and made their way up field. Two powerful scrums from the hosts secured a penalty deep in the Cross Keys 22. Will Baird, keen to keep momentum on the Ravens side, tapped and the hosts built towards the line through multiple phases. An accidental off side halted the Ravens attacked and ended their chance to take something from the match.