Bridgend Ravens secured an important bonus point victory at the Centre of Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach.
22 points from the boot of Supporters Man of The Match Jamie Murphy ensured the Ravens head into the final regular season game with playoff chances in their own hands.
Bargoed held a big advantage up front, with three first half scores all a result of their powerful pack. The Ravens managed three first half tries of their own, Mathew Edwards bagging the first with just four minutes played. Ryan Griffiths was able to find gaps in the Bargoed kick chase to break away upto the hosts 22. Quick recycling found Edwards one on one and the fullback was able to stand his man up and round him to score. Murphy, who kicked excellently all afternoon slipped his first effort just wide.
Bargoed responded with a try four minutes later before Murphy landed his first penalty of the afternoon, a long range strike from wide sailed over to edge Bridgend ahead.
Bridgend indiscipline kept Bargoed in the match. A yellow card for a high tackle from Ashton Evans gave the hosts good field position and they punished the Ravens from close range again for a second pick and go try.
With Bargoed looking to play from deep, Tom O'Flaherty struck for an intercept score. No one could catch the flyer and Murphy added the conversion.
Jamie Murphy added a second penalty of the half following a good break by Connor Tantum. The livewire scrum half found O'Flaherty who was smashed high resulting in a yellow card for the home team. Murphy slotted the penalty for six point lead heading into the final ten minutes of the half.
A second yellow card of the half for the Ravens again handed Bargoed an excellent opportunity to strike back. Their powerful scrum laid the foundation for a third close range drive over try.
Bridgend had the final say of the first half with a well worked score despite the man disadvantage. A strong carry and great offload from Matthew John handed Ashton Evans a try out wide with halftime approaching.
HT Bargoed RFC 19-23 Bridgend Ravens
A blistering three minute period just before the hour mark from the Ravens all but secured the win. Bridgend managed to bag 13 points in a three minute spell to tip the tie in their favour.
Murphy added another three points with a monster penalty from halfway. The Ravens then struck directly from the kickoff as a perfectly weighted Baird box kick came back on the Ravens side. Ashton Evans gathered and broke into the Bargoed 22. The final offload as the Number 8 was chased down found Adam O'Driscoll in support who touched down for the visitors bonus point score. Murphy converted before adding another long range penalty 10 metres from the touchline. Chris John slipped a tackle, again directly from kickoff. His inside ball found second row partner Owain Lloyd who made a further 15 metres before Bargoed deliberately slowed the ball down and Murphy stepped up.
Bridgend then found themselves down to thirteen men when both Adam O'Driscoll and Cai Lewis were shown yellow during a two minute spell, five metres from the Ravens line. The referee also awarded a penalty try following a big scrum drive against the seven man Ravens scrum.
With thirteen men on the park, Bridgend added a further six points to quash any hopes Bargoed had of a comeback. Murphy slotted a further two penalties to take his personal tally to 22 for the match.
The fantastic result saw the Ravens earned deserved applause off the field by the significant travelling support. Bridgend climbed to third place in the Principality Premiership tier 2 table, a spot in the playoffs now rests on the final regular season match at the Gnoll although if Cross Keys lose at Rodney Parade on Wednesday then both Bridgend and Neath will confirm their place in the top 4.