03 Oct Bridgend 15 v Aberavon 24
Aberavon beat Bridgend Ravens 24-15 at the Brewery Field, with their forwards proving the difference in the local derby.
Aberavon needed a win to stay at the top of the Indigo Group Premiership Cup West, whilst Bridgend were sitting mid-table.
On the 14-minute mark Bridgend’s Iestyn Merriman, on as a blood replacement for Aled Evans, was shown a yellow card. The home side managed the man disadvantage well, until Stef Andrews was left free and touched down in the corner 24 minutes in. Following the try, Jamie Murphy was sin binned for a deliberate knock on in the build up.
Aled Evans was able to come back on but the Ravens were still down to 14 men. Aled Thomas was accurate this time and converted to make it 7-0 to the away side.
Owen Howe was able to eat into that lead for the Ravens by converting 2 penalties, making it 7-6 to Aberavon.
HT Bridgend 6-7 Aberavon
Aberavon started the second half instantly on the front foot. With 44 minutes on the clock, a kick from midfield was followed up well by Aberavon, despite some calls for offside. After a scrum five metres from the Ravens’ line, Aberavon scrum half Rhodri Cole took a quick tap penalty and snuck in for a try. Aled Thomas converted to make the score 14-6 to Aberavon.
The boot of Owen Howe again kept the Ravens in the game. Two penalties, the latter from long range, were both converted, which made the score 14-12 to Aberavon with 60 minutes played.
In the last 20 minutes the Aberavon pack proved the difference. The away side started winning numerous scrums penalties close to the Ravens’ try-line. Andrew Waite got on the scoreboard 64 minutes in, and the conversion was missed from wide.
Owen Howe converted a penalty for another quick response making the score 19-15 in Aberavon’s favour.
The ground conditions got very slippery at the end of the game. The Aberavon pack drove forward again from a maul and Ieuan Davies rounded off the scoring from close range.
Aberavon secured derby victory and top spot by two points in the group, while Bridgend Ravens are now fourth, five points behind Carmarthen Quins in third.
Pens: Howe (5)
Tries: Cole, Waite, Andrews, Davies
Cons: Thomas (2)
Report by Luke Hawkins