Bridgend 13-31 Llandovery

By Chris Edmunds | 04/09/2017

Bridgend Ravens fell to a five tries to one defeat in their first match at the newly renamed Morganstone Brewery Field against Llandovery.

Bridgend had the chance to take the lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the match but Llandovery ran clear late on with a flurry of tries.

The Drovers fast paced brand of rugby led to their first try, with their accurate offloading and fast recycling, Aaron Warren was able to score under the posts. Jack Maynard converted for a seven point lead.

Bridgend should have bagged their first try of the match shortly after following good work from Tyler Williams and Joseph Gatt. The final pass to league debutant Aaron Grabham was mistimed, the flyer would have had a simple run in if the pass had gone to hand.

With the half hour mark approaching, Ryan Evans got the hosts on the scoreboard with a long range penalty.

Llandovery extended their lead with a try from Joe Powell. A maul drive was well defended by Bridgend who then continually knocked the Drovers back in the tackle, preventing their dangerous attack. Llandovery found a gap out wide however and more sublime offloading saw Powell crash over. A second successful conversion from Maynard pushed the visitors out to a 14-3 lead.

Ryan Evans added a second penalty with half time approaching. Bridgend broke into the Llandovery 22 before Ricky Guest tackled the Ravens support runner off the ball, Guest was shown a yellow card and Evans closed the gap to 8 from the tee.

HT: Bridgend 6-14 Llandovery 

Bridgend went in search of a quick score in the second half with the Drovers still down to 14. A mistake from the visitors, with a kick directly to touch, handed Bridgend great field position and last season's top try scorer, Aaron Grabham, opened his account for this campaign with a competitive debut try for his new club. Ryan Evans added the conversion to narrow the gap to just one point.

The game started to open up as both teams looked for the important next score. Maynard sent a penalty wide, before striking the upright minutes later. Bridgend then had the opportunity to take the lead for the first time in the match with the final 10 minutes approaching. Jamie Murphy lined up a long range penalty but the centres’ effort rebounded off the post.

Llandovery then added three tries in the final 13 minutes as the Ravens efforts to chase the game left them vulnerable to the counter attack.

Tom Lewis scored the first of the Drovers three quick fire tries, before Jamie Murphy was shown a yellow card that would see Bridgend finish the game with a man in the bin.

Rhodri Wall touched down for the Drovers bonus point score, Bridgend struggled to contain the expansive attack with a man disadvantage. A fifth try deep into injury time scored by Lee Rees saw Llandovery bring up 31 points for the second week in a row.

Disappointment for Bridgend who, with just over 10 minutes to play, could have taken the lead. Llandovery, with their expansive brand of rugby, ensured themselves a bonus point win with a late flurry of tries with Bridgend down to 14 men.

Bridgend Ravens Supporters Man of the Match - Rhodri Apsee

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