Bargoed 26-42 Bridgend
Saturday April 29, Bargoed Park
Bargoed and Bridgend fought out an entertaining, if somewhat scrappy, penultimate game in the Principality Premiership’s second tier on Saturday April 29.
Both sides scored four tries, but it was the boot of Bridgend captain Jamie Murphy which made the difference, with a 22-point personal tally.
An early penalty for the hosts drifted wide, before a slip by Bridgend scrum-half Connor Tantum wrong-footed the Bulls’ midfield for full-back Matthew Edwards to finish off.
Bargoed hit back minutes later to square things up with a catch-and-drive from a lineout on the 22-metre line. Prop Rhys Morgan dived over from short-range, but Calum Jones’ conversion hit the post.
Ravens’ No.8 Ashton Evans was shown a yellow card by referee Jason Morris after 20 minutes for a high tackle, and Bargoed took full advantage as energetic second-rower Bryce Morgan scored from five-metres out. Jones converted to take the scores to 12-8.
The hosts shot themselves in the foot when patient play was picked off by Bridgend winger Tom O’Flaherty on the blindside to score under the posts. A long discussion took place between the referee and touch judge before it was decided that Bargoed winger Duane Dyer had put in a high tackle and was sin-binned. Murphy’s penalty gave Bridgend a six-point lead.
Calum Jones edged the Bulls back in front just before the interval, converting his own try after Bridgend lost another man to the bin, but Evans returned to the field to have the final say of the half with his own try. Bridgend led 19-23.
In the second-half, Bargoed were dominant in the scrum, but had nothing to show for their efforts. A purple patch for Bridgend put the hosts 17 points down after Murphy scored two penalties either side of converting Adam O’Driscoll’s fortuitous try.
O’Driscoll was the recipient of the Ravens’ third yellow card, pulling down a driving maul, before Bargoed were awarded a penalty try for driving the visitors’ pack backwards at scrum-time. James Hallett converted, and Cai Lewis joined his colleague in the bin shortly after.
Bargoed couldn’t make numbers count, and Murphy completed his fine afternoon with the boot with two more penalties to condemn the Bulls to a 26-42 loss.
• Match report by Peter Greening of Bargoed RFC.