PENCOED .................... 17 NANTYFFYLLON ........ 24
DUE in no small part to a very lacklustre, ill-disciplined and error-strewn performance from Pencoed, they allowed Nantyffyllon to take the spoils home with them.
Nantyffyllon opened the scoring with barely three minutes on the clock, when outside half, N James, kicked a successful penalty.
Pencoed’s response was almost immediate. Following a mistake from the visitors at the restart, Pencoed had an attacking line out. From an ensuing driving maul, Rhys Vowels claimed the touchdown with Adam Williams adding the extras. Pencoed then, through a mixture of unforced errors and ill-discipline, allowed Nantyffyllon to dictate the game. This resulted in James kicking two successful penalties, on 11 and 22 mins, to leave a half-time score of 7-9. Nantyffyllon started the second half strongly. After to finish the move. Evans added the conversion to narrow the margin between the sides to three.
Bridgend took the lead for the first time in the match with 25 minutes played. Neath’s former Principality Premiership top try scorer Aaron Grabham dived over for the Ravens second try. Another flowing move from the young and exciting Bridgend backline broke the visitors defence and Grabham was able to score out wide.
Cai Evans converted, following a five minute delay as the referee received treatment, to push Bridgend into a fourpoint lead.
The Welsh All Blacks bagged a second try late in the half as they broke from deep in their own half. Mike Evans touched down to edge Neath ahead by a single point. Zac O’Driscoll was shown Davies brought their second try, again converted by Tatchell. It stayed that way till the interval. The second half brought a wonderful try for full back Matthew Murphy after a break by Marc Roberts. The visitors lead 19-0 before a mix-up in defence resulted in centre Kyle Davies scoring a try for Seven Sisters the conversion was added by Craig Howell. At this point the home side seemed to find a second wind and were awarded a penalty try to bring them right back into After the early score, Sully put their own pressure with the stronger scrum, but Brackla’s defence led by flanker David Paul stayed strong. Brackla continued to hold, when midway through the half centre Richard Byrne won the ball to race in to score. Cai James converted to give Brackla a 10-0 lead. Brackla continued to pile on the pressure but missed several try scoring opportunities, due to 44 mins Pencoed lost their No9 to the sin bin.
However, Nantyffyllon were able to score an unconverted try via their scrum half, J Phillips after 49 mins. Adam Williams brought the home side back in the game with a successful penalty. Unfortunately for Pencoed they were the next to concede. Nantyfyllon scored an excellently worked unconverted try by their No 6 C Philips.
Once again Pencoed managed to pull themselves back into the game when Ricky Somers a yellow card following the score.
Bridgend held out whilst down to 14 with Zac O’Driscoll in the bin, however just as the captain was returning to the field, Rhodri Apsee was shown a red card following a scrap on the floor.
Bridgend found themselves a man short for the remainder of the match.
Bridgend showed immense character throughout the second half, fighting back from a point down to secure an important victory.
The 14-man Bridgend defence stood firm all half, only conceding on the last play of the game.
The maturity shown by Bridgend’s teenage halfback partnership helped the Ravens build a lead that would secure the Ravens second victory of the season. Supporters Man of the Match Cai Evans added three penalties the game 14-19. But that was close enough for the Waterwheelers who then stepped up a gear scoring three un-answered tries to secure a bonuspoint win. The first was a second for hooker Jake Lewis followed by a brace for scrum half Gareth Lindenburn, the first of which was splendid team effort, both were converted by Josh Tatchell.
Another memorable weekend for Tondu who entertain Seven Sisters in the WRU Plate First round next Saturday. Tondu stubborn defence from Sully.
Pressure finally paid off with a penalty in front of the posts which extended Brackla’s lead to 13-0.
Sully View soon began taking control and Brackla struggled to get out of their 22, but they were unable to break Brackla’s defence.
The breakthrough finally came when miscommunication led to a loose ball, which bounced showed excellent awareness at a ruck. He picked up and powered his way over. Adam Williams added the extras with a fine conversion from near the touchline.
To their credit Nantyffyllon responded positively resulting in their No 7, R Boast, scoring another well worked unconverted try.
Pencoed then spent the rest of the game on the attack looking for a decisive score. The Nantyffyllon defence held firm, which allowed them to take the spoils. throughout the half, pushing Bridgend out to an eight-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
As the clock headed towards 80, the Ravens made sure of the victory with their third try. Cai Evans, again instrumental, produced a perfectly weighted cross-kick to find Aaron Grabham on his right wing. Grabham seconds also won 84-14 away to Llantwit Major so a good day all round for straight into the Sully centre who ran in, the try remained unconverted.
Brackla began the second half in similar fashion to the first, they won a penalty which Cai James converted to extend Brackla’s lead to 16-5.
Around the 50-minute mark, Sully View looked down and out when they were reduced to 14 men with a player sent off.
This didn’t put Sully off who fought back despite stepped passed the last defender and dived over for his second try of the match.
Neath didn’t give up and touched down for their third try with the clock in the red.
Bridgend defended heroically with a man less throughout the half but we’re unable to contain the visitors to the end as Tondu RFC. Head coach Matthew Tatchell said “an excellent game consider- being a man down, Brackla who rediscovered their defence held out and continually pushed Sully back or cleared their lines.
The second half was very even with no team managing to break down the other, until Sully’s pressure finally paid off with a try in the corner which was converted to reduce the deficit to 16-12.
More defence followed for Brackla, who eventu- Scott Gibson sniped from close range.
One last big effort from the Ravens, attempting to charge down the conversion paid off as the conversion sailed wide, meaning Neath left without a losing bonus point, putting Bridgend a point ahead of the Welsh All Blacks in the league standings. ing the conditions and a well deserved win at Seven Sisters.” ally got field position and began their own assault on Sully.
However, despite a number of penalties were unable to extend their lead.
The match ended in Sully’s 22, Brackla from a penalty had a driving lineout which came close to scoring after a break off but ended up in touch.
Brackla recorded a famous win, their first since joining the WRU leagues.
Kieran Martin scores
Gareth Lindenburn scores