Bridgend Ravens
2004/2005 WRU National League
Bridgend 31 v 16 Cardiff
09 October 2004 - Morganstone Brewery Field, Bridgend

Match Report

Bridgend 31 Cardiff 16

A second half try by Chris Czekaj, his fourth of the season, and 11 points from the boot of  Chris Anderson were not enough to save Cardiff at the Brewery Field. Bridgend never lost the lead they took in the 10th minute as the Blue & Blacks were left to rue several missed chances that could have turned the game in the closing stages.

Bright moments in an otherwise disappointing affair were provided by Dafydd Hewitt in the centre and Darren Fenton in loose play but the side as a whole never threatened to control a match that suffered from too many unforced errors. In a bright opening Cardiff took a 3-0 lead with an Anderson penalty goal in the second minute after Bridgend had failed to retire 10 metres at a quick tap penalty.

But the swirling wind was causing problems for both sides and Cardiff's discomfort increased when the Ravens stole a tight-head scrum. They were also far more secure in the lineouts and it was from one such situation near the visitors' corner flag that Mike Powell was driven over for their first try. Fly-half Gareth David converted expertly from wide out and five minutes later added a try of his own after another close range lineout.

This time he failed to convert but did add a 25-metre penalty goal when Cardiff's front row went up in  a scrum.Cardiff stayed in touch with two more Anderson penalty goals from close range after further infringements at tapped penalties. English referee Wayne Barnes was showing a strange reluctance to use the sin-bin to discourage repeated indiscretions but the Blue & Blacks could have no complaints when the home side scored their third try in first half injury time. Almost inevitably it came from a scrum close to the line with number 8 Gareth Williams claiming the touchdown.

Trailing 9-20 at the interval the Blue & Blacks needed to post a quick score after the resumption. But although they had the benefit of the long kick-off poor tackling allowed Cory Harris to take play straight back to the visitors' 22. Then in a disastrous three-minute spell David kicked a penalty and winger Grant Epton crossed in the corner after Cardiff lost another of their own lineouts.It was taking a long time for the Blue & Blacks to realise the futility of using long throw-ins in the tricky conditions.

When they finally had the wit to throw short to Heino Senekal at the front of the lineout, some semblance of regular possession was achieved. In the 61st minute a burst by the increasingly prominent Liam Roberts was finished off by Czekaj under the posts and Anderson converted to bring the score back to 16-28.When Bridgend were reduced to 14 men after centre Richard Dyke was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Rhys Thomas there seemed every chance of a famous come back.

But overlaps were wasted, one glaring example being when James Malpas and three team mates were unmarked on the left and the ball was taken back into contact.Five minutes from time David took his personal points tally to 21 with another penalty goal and the game was effectively over as a contest. 

Official : Wayne Barnes (England)

Bridgend Cardiff