Bridgend Ravens bowed out of the WRU National Cup at the last sixteen stage following a hard fought defeat to RGC 1404 at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.
The Visitors showed off their power to score four tries and secure their spot in the WRU National Cup Quarter Finals.
RGC dominated the opening exchanges but the Ravens managed to keep the scoreline close throughout the first quarter. Botica and Scrivens traded early penalties before Jacob Botica grabbed the game's first try. A charged down clearance kick in the Ravens 22 handed the North Wales Side's Fly Half a simple score.
Minutes later RGC bagged a second following a strong carry from Tiaan Loots. The centre bust through would be Ravens tacklers to score. Botica converted both scores for a 17 points to 3 RGC lead before the half hour mark.
Bridgend needed as slice of luck to get back into the match. Marking his 50th Bridgend appearance, Joseph Scrivens intercepted at halfway and raced away to score as halftime approached. The Ravens’ Supporters Man of the Match slotted the conversion before adding a Penalty with the clock in the red to narrow the Visitors lead to four.
HT Bridgend Ravens 13-17 RGC 1404
RGC started the second half with clear intent, racing into the Bridgend 22 directly from kick off. Dan Howells made an incredible try saving tackle but the resulting scrum saw centre Loots given the space to crash over for a second. Botica again converted.
Things were about to get worse for Bridgend following a slow start to the second half. The Visitors broke away from deep and raced into the Bridgend 22, scrambling in defence, Adam O'Driscoll made the tackle which the referee called high. O'Driscoll was shown a red card for the tackle leaving a very difficult uphill battle for Bridgend if they were going to advance to the quarter final stage.
With the resulting penalty kicked for touch. RGC drove the maul over for a fourth try, but Bridgend wouldn't concede defeat and went on to dominate the final quarter.
14 man Bridgend will rue missed opportunities late in the second half that could have seen them complete an against the odds fightback. Scrivens inventive chip was chased hard by Matthew Edwards, the wing got a toe to the ball but an unkind bounce saw the speedster knock on with the line at his mercy.
Bridgend struck for a deserved second try with just 10 minutes remaining. Replacement Lock Jonny Kenny dived over from close range and Scrivens landed the conversion to take his personal tally to 15, setting up a nervy final 10 minutes for the Visitors who appeared to be well in control until this point.
Despite Bridgend putting plenty of pressure on the North Walians line, RGC managed to hold out thanks to a mixture of resolute defending and poor Bridgend handling. An immense effort from Bridgend whilst down to 14 men for over half an hour entertained and gave the home fans some optimism as the match went on despite a slow start.