LANSDOWN ................... 2 BRIDGEND ..................... 7
AN EXTRA shandy or two was called for last Saturday night in the Haywain, as Bridgend celebrated promotion out of De Cymru & The Marches One, writes Tony Poole.
A magnificent seven goals provided the real froth to toast a wonderful few months of success.
Fourteen wins and two draws from 17 league outings tell its own story – but the job is basically only half done.
The high-flying Ravens now want to take their leave of the division and return to Conference North as champions.
And with this in mind, Bridgend have five remaining matches and they currently head closest challengers Leominster by four points.
Leominster kept their title hopes alive with a 4-3 victory over Cleevillians – and this means there could still be some meat on the bone regarding the destination of the title.
And with Bridgend having to play Leominster away a week on Saturday, there must be no resting on laurels.
But last Saturday night was all about the first part of the promotion story being achieved - and it unfolded in double quick time.
Timmy Hodges had the ball in the back of the net after just 30 seconds to card one of the fastest goals in club history.
Just for good measure he soon repeated the medicine and during an incredible opening, the score stood on 3-1 after just five minutes.
Bridgend Town cricket star Thomas Pearce got the third Bridgend goal, and followed it up with another worthy effort.
Hodges completed a sizzling hat-trick for 5-1 with a deflected shot that sent the goal minder the wrong way.
That was the half-time score and during the second period, Pearce became the second Ravens hat-trick hero on a neverto-be-forgotten day.
Though the Bristol boys pulled back to 6-2, the Ravens again caught them on the hop during the closing exchanges.
On this occasion it was the turn of Rhys Owen to score, as he delicately worth their weight in gold to manager Scott Dryden and his merry men.
New Garw boss Nigel Jordan will be hoping to see his charges go through their paces this Saturday at home to lowly Cardiff side Clwb Cymric.
The Blandy boys have sat out the last three league programmes, and their last outing was the heartbreaking 3-2 loss at Cornelly United on January 20.
Porthcawl Town have a chance to rescue an ailing season away to bottom club Llantwit Fardre.
The Seasiders have beaten Penrhiwceiber Con Athletic, 4-3, at home since Christmas before losing out, 3-0, to Cornelly United at Lock’s Lane the weekend before last.
Cellar dwellers Llantwit Fardre have won just two and drawn three of 17 league starts this term.
But they only went under, 2-0, at Lock’s Lane back in November – 27goal hitman Jorge Crofts getting both goals during a well-contested encounter.
In the Premier Division, Pencoed Athletic have been given a month to get gions Cup qualifying match, writes Tony Poole.
The Kymco Stadium is hosting the return SWFA match with the Gwent County League with flicked the ball past the goalkeeper.
This splendid victory made the long journey home much shorter and this Saturday Bridgend have a home fixture against Cheltenham B. A visit fourth-placed Cardiff & Met University E. on which the Bridgend defence was based.
Next up is a seasondefining game away to Whitchurch E.
THIRDS .......................... 4 BRIDGEND FIRSTS ...... 2
BRIDGEND paid the price for being slow starters in the Welsh capital against Cardiff Metropolitan University Thirds.
This Division One clash was settled after the Students changed ends with a 3-0 advantage - and made it 4-0 early in the second period.
The Ravens were only able to field 11 players, and substitute Tania Harrison was carrying a facial wound.
But at the 4-0 stage, Bridgend suddenly started to play, and it led to the Students beginning to get a little tetchy.
A goal from Louise Jones on the end of a telling pass from on-song Sophie Evans triggered the mini fight-back.
Tania Harrison then decided that despite injury the time was right for her to depart the bench.
And in a captain fantastic display she got the final goal of the game to make the final scoreline more respectable.
Though Bridgend remained steadfast at the back, a seventh league loss from 14 starts has left the fifth-placed Ravens as distinct promotion outsiders. sion, having won all nine matches, and are hot favourites to secure Welsh League status.
This is a truly remarkable story, and they are the envy of other clubs at this level.
Finally, another batch of Alliance fixtures has been released, and they are as follows: FEBRUARY 24: Premier Division: Baglan Dragons v Pencoed Athletic, Merthyr Saints v Llangynwyd Rangers.
Division One: AFC Whitchurch v Cefn Cribwr, Cadoxton Barry v Porthcawl Town, Garw v AFC Butetown, Treforest v Cornelly United.
Division Two: United v Llanharry Vale MARCH 3: Premier Division: Cardiff Draconians v Llangynwyd Rangers.
Division One: Cornelly United v FC Cwmaman, Porthcawl Town v Cadoxton Barry, Tonyrefail Boys Club v Garw.
Division Two: St seph’s v Vale United. Jo- 4–10 with the winner and two best runners-up from the three Preliminary groups moving forward into the Intermediate stage. PENYBONT Thirds punched a ticket into the next round of the Bridgend & District League’s Nathaniel Car Sales Cup with a slender 3-2 victory away to Sarn, writes Tony Poole.
However, the Bridgend super club, who led 3-1 at the break, could never really shake off the neversay-die Pinks.
Matthew Jones hit the target twice for Bont while they build up a decent head of steam on the back of another Dale Stephenson rocket.
However, a goal from ex-Bont star Jamie Hodgkinson kept Sarn on the radar, and they continued to press during the second half.
And although they halved the deficit, the cup glory went to the men from the Kymco Stadium.
Meanwhile, it was announced last weekend that Parc Derwen has withdrawn from the Celtic Tyres Bridgend & District League.
The move took many by surprise, as they held a comfortable midtable position in the Premier Division, having played 14 league matches with four wins and two draws.
The Bridgend & District Premier League website has already expunged their records, but it hasn’t impacted on the battle for the title.
Maesteg Park are still top, having won 12 and drawn one of 13 outings, and the Tudor Park side hold a three-point lead over both Sarn and Llangeinor.
But the Pinks have played two more games than the former Welsh League rivals.
Finally, Penybont Over 50s triumphed 2-1 last Sunday away to Swansea University in the Wales Veterans League.
All the goals came during the first half with former sports writer Steve Dalton and Vincent Lewis on target for the Bampy Bonts. A DATE and venue has been announced for this season’s Welsh Premiership Development League Southern Section Cup final, writes Tony Poole.
Penybont will face Swansea City at the home of Welsh Premiership strugglers Carmarthen Town in Richmond Park on March 8 (7.30pm).
Entry is free with Bont looking to improve on twice being losing finalists.