Bridgend Ravens fell to a convincing defeat at the hands of the Principality Premiership’s top side Aberavon.
Bridgend headed into the match at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field with confidence having defeated the Visitors two weeks previous in the Fosters Challenge Cup but Aberavon continued their fine league form to remain at the helm of the division.
Despite excellent early pressure from Bridgend, with Ryan Griffiths and Owain Lloyd going close for the hosts, Aberavon held out and went on to dominate the first half. Bridgend indiscipline resulting in two first half yellow cards helped Avon to a 21-0 halftime lead.
A tense opening quarter saw both teams battle for territory before Aberavon struck for two quick fire tries. A penalty try as a result of a collapsed maul saw Jon Kenny sent to the bin, Avon then made the man advantage count to grab a second just three minutes later. Rheon James touched down with James Garland converting both scores.
Aberavon pushed for a third with the half coming to an end. A break into the Ravens 22 was halted by Jamie Murphy who was shown a yellow card for an offside offence. Will Price crashed over for the Visitors third which Garland again converted.
HT Bridgend Ravens 0-21 Aberavon RFC
Aberavon continued their dominance throughout the second half going on to add a further 31 points scoring five tries in the process. Will Price touched down for his second of the match as the Visitors bagged a bonus point score with three minutes played in the second half.
It took Aberavon just five minutes to touch down again, this time Osprey Jay Baker weaved his way over for the score. Garland added both conversions.
The Ravens efforts in attack eventually lead to their first try of the match. Matthew Edwards broke away out wide, Ryan Griffiths in support linked up with Supporters Man of the Match Dan Howells as the fullback raced over. Jamie Murphy added the extras as Bridgend looked to push on to get something from the game.
Aberavon added another try as the hour mark approached, this time Avon fullback Phillips was in support to stroll over.
Bridgend replacement Gareth Beer made an instant impact with an incredible defensive effort, forcing his man into touch as the Visitors looked to add yet another try. However Joe Tomalin-Reeves was able to race clear following a quick Avon lineout shortly after.
Bridgend added a second try following some invention from Joseph Scrivens. A neat chip was gathered by Howells who raced towards the Avon 22. The Visitors appeared to hold out but Bridgend maintained their pressure to win a penalty which the Ravens kicked to the corner. As the Bridgend maul rumbled towards the line, the hosts passed infield and Adam O'Driscoll slipped through a tackle to score. Joseph Scrivens added the conversion but Aberavon’s commanding lead would bring them their tenth league win, sending them back to the summit of the Principality Premiership.
A last minute score to push the visitors past 50 points came as Wales Sevens international Stefan Andrews got his name on the scoresheet.
A tough New Year's Eve afternoon at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field for the Ravens saw Aberavon regain their position at the summit of the Principality Premiership table. Bridgend will look to finish strong in the final round before the league split when they make the trip Carmarthen next Saturday.
Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of the Match - Daniel Howells.