Preview: Bridgend v Aberavon
This Saturday, Aberavon hits the road, heading to the Brewery Field to face Bridgend in the Indigo Group Premiership. The match is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m.
Last season, the Ravens secured an eighth-place finish in the Premiership, having notched up wins in 9 out of 22 games.
In the lead-up to the new season, Bridgend had a couple of tune-up games at the Brewery Field.
Their first challenge came against fellow Premiership contenders, Llandovery, resulting in a 26-19 victory for the Ravens. The Drovers held a 14-point lead at halftime, thanks to two first-half tries. But Bridgend staged a comeback in the second half, scoring four tries through Liam Tobias, Aled Evans (twice), and Cameron Ellis. Rhys Williams slotted home a conversion, while replacement George Richards added two more. In the closing stages, the visiting side managed to notch a late try.
In their final pre-season match, Bridgend beat Bournville 34-31. At halftime, the Ravens led 22-9 with tries by Gareth Harvey (2), Edd Howley, and Lewis Hughes, plus a conversion by Luke Price. Bournville added three penalties. In the second half, Bournville scored four tries and a conversion, but Bridgend held on with two tries by Alfie Llewellyn and another Price conversion.
In their opening Premiership match last weekend, Bridgend narrowly clinched a 28-27 victory away at Swansea, sealing the win with a last-minute penalty kick. The All Whites held a 13-9 lead at halftime, with a converted try and two penalties compared to three penalties by Bridgend’s Luke Price. In the second half, the Ravens went ahead, and led 25-20 as the game clock reached 80 minutes, courtesy of a Stuart Floyd Ellis try, Price’s conversion, and three additional penalties, with Swansea having scored a converted try themselves. The home side then briefly took the lead with a converted try, but in the game’s final moment, Luke Price secured Bridgend’s win with his seventh successful penalty kick.
Looking at the history between Aberavon and Bridgend, they’ve squared off 43 times in the Welsh National League. The series currently tilts in favour of the Wizards, who have secured 22 victories to Bridgend’s 19, with two encounters ending in a draw. At the Brewery Field, Bridgend leads 12-9, with one match ending in a draw. Aberavon won in their last league encounter at this venue, sealing an 18-15 victory last season.
This upcoming Saturday game will be overseen by referee Simon Mills, who will be supported by Ben Breakspear and Jason Griffiths in the roles of assistants.