Bridgend Ravens produced a much improved performance to come within minutes of beating Bedwas on Boxing Day.
In front of an impressive crowd of 1,088, the Ravens cruelly had victory snatched from them after Harley Thompson scored five minutes before the end.
The game started poorly for the home side. Lewis Hudd crossed within the first five minutes to put his side ahead. Italian international fly half, Kris Burton missed the conversion.
Bridgend kept themselves in the game thanks to a penalty from the ever reliable James Dixon, and just two minutes later, captain Tom Grabham produced a moment of brilliance to put Bridgend into the lead. Dixon slotted the extras.
The Ravens continued to play exciting rugby, with Bedwas holding firm. Sadly for the hosts, Matthew Pewtner was able to crash over to give the men of Gwent the advantage. This time, Burton slotted the points.
Just before the interval, Ross Jones missed a penalty attempt, but as the referee blew for half time, the game was poised on a knife edge with the visitors leading 10-12.
Bridgend started the second half the much better side, and within the first 10 minutes retook the lead. Ross Jones slotted two excellent penalty goals to put the Ravens in a stronger position.
Bedwas reply came from the boot of Burton, but it was to be Bridgend who made the next notable contribution to the scoreboard. Excellent second row, Owain Lloyd was able to worm his way over the whitewash from close range. Jones successfully made it a seven point score.
With the home crowd now firmly behind their resurgent side, the Ravens went hunting for further scores, but a lapse in concentration saw Bedwas break, allowing winger Rory Budina to score out wide, with Burton again missing an attempt at goal for the conversion.
There was just ten minutes left, and three points in the game and the Ravens seemed certain to hold out, and looked the more likely to add to their score. It was not to be, however, as Harley Thompson broke Ravens hearts with a surge through the defence to touch down under the posts.
To their credit, Bridgend did not let their heads drop and fought right until the final whistle to regain their lead. Bedwas held out to ease their relegation worries, whilst heaping more pressure on a Ravens side that is sadly languishing in the lower region of the table.
WRU TV were on hand at the launch of a major new commercial deal with WRU and Mercedes-Benz South Wales (part of the Sinclair Group), which sees the family company become an official supplier to the Welsh Rugby Union
On the back of the recent Women's Rugby World Cup, the WRU has launched a revitalised Women's and Girls domestic seasonal structure, and the future is looking bright.
Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
Roger Lewis talks to WRU TV at the announcement of a new £60 million Rugby Services Agreement (RSA) which provides a new and positive contractual relationship between the WRU and its four Regions for the next six years has been agreed.
The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a major new sponsorship deal with Gullivers Sports Travel which will make the UK's leading, and longest established, multi-sport tour operator, an Official Supplier for the rest of the decade.
Having taken part in seven World Cups as a player and coach, Liza Burgess hopes to go out in style this afternoon when Wales take on Australia in the Play-off for seventh and eighth place in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a nationwide education programme, to help all involved in the game to recognise and remove' players with concussion. Wales, Racing Metro and Lions centre Jamie Roberts Wales assistant coach Rob Howley, WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey and representatives of grassroots clubs in Wales who helped finalise the policy. We also hear from WRU National Medical Manager Prav Mathema, plus Llanelli and Cardiff in the Principality Premiership.
The massive strides Wales Under 18 Girls have made under the guidance of Rhys Edwards and Richie Pugh was fully illustrated when they finished runners-up to England in last weekend's Rugby Europe Under 18 tournament in Enkoping, Sweden.