Bridgend Ravens’ final home match of the 2017/18 Principality Premiership season was one to remember, with fifteen tries between the two sides in a feast of running rugby.
Fine weather plus the fantastic surface at the Morganstone Brewery Field saw both sides in all out attack mode. Aaron Grabham showed his pace with an intercept try inside 90 seconds. Nathan Edwards then added Bridgend's second with just over 8 minutes played, following a scything attack in midfield. Ryan Evans converted both scores.
With less than quarter of an hour played, Bargoed were back on level terms thanks to tries from Darren Humphries and Ashley Norton, both converted.
Supporters’ Man of The Match Shaun O'Rourke, unstoppable on occasion, tore through the Bargoed defence. The Lock raced from halfway into the Bargoed 22 and even stepped passed the last defender before passing to Jonathan Phillips who touched down for his 10th try of the campaign. Evans again converted.
Bridgend found themselves down to fourteen as Gareth Harvey was shown a yellow card for a late tackle. Bargoed made the man advantage work as they added their third try with little over 5 minutes remaining of the half. Harvey made up for the yellow card just seconds after returning to the field, touching down after a succession of powerful carries from the Ravens forwards.
HT Bridgend Ravens 28-21 Bargoed RFC
Just as they did in the first half, Bridgend raced out of the blocks in the second adding three further tries inside the first 10 second half minutes.
Michael Powell stepped his way over the line on 45 minutes following a lineout deep in the Bargoed 22. Straight from the resulting kick off Aaron Grabham sliced through weak Bargoed tackling and race up to the visitors 22. Stuart Floyd-Ellis was in hand to run in the Ravens’ sixth try of the afternoon.
Powell then added his second, the Ravens’ seventh, with an interception. The speedster had more than enough gas to outrun the cover defence and round under the posts. Ryan Evans added all three conversions to push Bridgend into a 28 point lead at the 50 minute mark.
Bargoed struck for their bonus point try on the hour mark. Bridgend’s second half defence was a big improvement on the first half, but Bargoed managed to break them down with some neat offloading.
Stuart Floyd-Ellis and Aaron Grabham combined again for Bridgend's 8th try. This time Floyd-Ellis was the man making the break and timing the pass perfectly for Grabham to race over for a second.
The visitors’ fifth and final score of this try-fest came thanks to a Bridgend mistake. A poor cross kick landed straight in the hands of Craig Locke. The Second row was able to run in for the try from the Bridgend 22.
The final ten minutes saw the Ravens’ complete the rout with two further tries. Replacement scrum half Connor Tantum was on hand following an Ashton Evans break to score his first. The livewire scrum half added a second with time almost up, a neat dummy from the base of a ruck opened a huge gap in the Bargoed defence and the Kenfig Hill product raced over for the hosts’ tenth try of the afternoon. Jamie Murphy converted both scores to bring the final score to 68 points to 35.
Week on week, this youthful Ravens side continues to improve. With seven wins in their last nine matches, the vocal Bridgend faithful will be disappointed to see the season come to an end next week given their sides fantastic form.