Match Report: Bridgend 17 – 13 Aberavon

Aberavon had most of the first half and led 13-0 before going to the break at 13-7, but from then onwards they were overwhelmed by Bridgend.

No 8 forward Morgan Strong, son of the watching Nathan, scored two fine tries for the ‘Ravens’.

The effort was there by the players, but Bridgend tackled splendidly after the break.

Jonny Phillips was outstanding until being replaced through injury and Andrew Waite was certainly out there fighting for a cup final place. Prop Rhys Fawcett also made a fine start.

Rhodri Cole was another who, after a splendid for 40 minutes, was tactically replaced for Temblett.

But, generally, Aberavon cannot blame referee Ben Breakspear, who showed good control, and Bridgend must be congratulated for a great fighting performance.

Aberavon soon opened the scoring when centre Joe Gage started and ended a move and Aled Thomas added a close-range penalty.

A series of thrilling runs by full back Phillips finally saw his chip beautifully caught by left-wing Stef Andrews and it was 13-0.

Aberavon’s biggest failing is letting sides off the hook and suddenly Strong burst out of a maul and was clear and over for fly-half Short to convert.

After the interval, Short kicked a good penalty to reduce the deficit to three points and then was replaced by veteran Matthew Jones. The young fly-half looked rightly aggrieved.

A try just had to come and the lively Strong. Jones converted.

Bridgend the deserved winners on the day.

Bridgend 17 – 13 Aberavon

Aberavon Team:
Jonathan Phillips (rep Frankie Jones 56 min); Chris Banfield, Joe Thomas (rep Chay Smith 66 min), Joe Gage, Stef Andrews; Aled Thomas, Rhodri Cole (rep Iwan Temblett 48 min); Rhys Fawcett (rep Rowan Jenkins 51 min), Ieuan Davies (rep Cameron Lewis 79 min), Geraint James (rep Chris Davies 51 min), Shay Smallman (rep Sam Pailor 66 min), Rhodri Hughes, Ashton Evans, Andrew Waite, Joe Tomalin-Reeves (capt) (rep Lloyd Evans 56 min).

Sam Pailor appeared from Trebanos RFC.

Aberavon Scorers:
T – Joe Gage, Stef Andrews
PG – Aled Thomas

Bridgend Scorers:
T – Morgan Strong (2)
C – Paul Short, Matthew Jones
PG – Paul Short

Ben Breakspear

Man Of The Match:
1 – Jonathan Phillips
2 – Andrew Waite
3 – Ieuan Davies

Time Line:
03 min: Aberavon – T – Joe Gage (0 – 5)
25 min: Aberavon – PG – Aled Thomas (0 – 8)
33 min: Aberavon – T – Stef Andrews (0 – 13)
35 min: Bridgend – T – Morgan Strong & C – Paul Short (7 – 13)
40+1 min: Half Time
51 min: Bridgend – PG – Paul Short (10 – 13)
69 min: Bridgend – T – Morgan Strong & C – Matthew Jones (17 – 13)
80 min: Aberavon – Yellow Card – Lloyd Evans
80+4 min: Full Time