Bridgend Ravens produced an excellent all-round performance and notched eight tries as they progressed to the second round of the National Cup with victory over Glynneath at Abernant Park.
With a stiff wind in their face, Bridgend kept ball in hand where possible, forcing Glynneath to work extremely hard in defence. Chris John made good progress in midfield before the Ravens fired an early penalty to the corner. A strong maul from the visitors was halted just short of the line but Iestyn Merriman was able to burrow over from close range. Jamie Murphy added the conversion.
Bridgend got a second try with just over 20 minutes played. Chris Williams broke down the right wing and Bridgend recycled quickly. Ryan Griffiths popped a pass to Owen Jordan and the prop crashed over out wide against his former side.
The Ravens should have added more tries throughout the first half with two balls dropped over the line and a held up decision going against them. Bridgend added a third try late in the half following a scrum five metres out. Jonathan Phillips, making his first start for the club, stepped his way over for his first score in the famous blue and white jersey.
HT Glynneath RFC 0-17 Bridgend Ravens
Five second half tries showed Bridgend's expansive style despite the slippery conditions. It took the visitors just five minutes to touch down for their fourth try of the match. Ryan Griffiths hit in the counter attack, making his way into Glynneath territory. Jonathan Phillips then showed outstanding pace by rounding the hosts’ defence before slipping a sublime offload to Kieran Martin. The Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of The Match drew the fullback and passed inside to Phillips who ran in under the posts, the fullback passed up the chance of a second try as he offloaded whilst over the try line to Rhodri Apsee for the prop to notch his first try in Ravens colours.
Glynneath started to string some phases together as the half went on, looking for a first score of the game. Mike Powell put a stop to the hosts’ attack with a strip tackle and the flyer showed he had the gas and raced in from 80 metres for Bridgend's fifth try.
Three further tries in the last 15 minutes wrapped up a comprehensive win for the Ravens. Jamie Murphy produced a neat chip for Ryan Griffiths and the winger bagged a try on his fiftieth Bridgend appearance. Garin Lougher got his name on the score sheet after good work from Connor Tantum, the scrum halve's offload sent Lougher through for the score.
The final act of the match saw Griffiths add his second try, the Ravens eighth. Zach O'Driscoll, impressive throughout, produced another turnover deep in the Glynneath half and Bridgend struck again on the counter attack. A looping pass found Garin Lougher and the replacement drew his man to put Ryan Griffiths over out wide.
Bridgend can now look forward to a second round Cup clash before getting back to league action in February.