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Sunday, January 14, 2024
Hodgkins Makes Bridgend Ravens Debut in Defeat

Jamin Hodgkins made his Bridgend Ravens debut as they picked up a four-try bonus point in a 50 – 32 defeat at the Wern against a clinical Merthyr side.

Bridgend found themselves on the wrong side of an 11 try thriller securing a late try bonus point with the last play of the game.

Merthyr raced into a seven-point lead, catching Bridgend cold Josh Lewis touched down and converted.

Jacob Lloyd got Bridgend on the board from the tee before Merthyr hit for a second try.

Bridgend’s defence worked hard but constant pressure from the hosts saw Lloyd Rowlands touch down out wide.

Jacob Lloyd struck for a second penalty almost immediately following the Ironmen’s second try, narrowing the gap to 6.

It didn’t take Merthyr long to bag a third try, with less than a quarter of the match played. A penalty nudged 5 meters out by Josh Lewis saw the pack maul over the line for the score.

Lewis added a penalty before the hosts’ pounced for their bonus point try. As Bridgend built into the game, turnover ball allowed Merthyr to break away and Ben Jones dotted down the first of his three tries.

Bridgend finally got themselves a try as the maul worked hard for yards. Evan Yardley broke away and managed to drive over for the score.

Bridgend clawed back the Merthyr lead with a sublime score as halftime approached. Supporters Man Of the Match, Edd Howley, marked in the 22 and tapped quick, launching a scintillating Ravens attack. Dafi Davies went close following Howley’s break, finding Cameron Ellis who finished off the move. Jacob Lloyd added the extra to leave Bridgend trailing by 11 at the break.

Bridgend needed to start the second half on the front foot if they were to have any chance of fighting back, but it was the hosts that added to their tally early on.

A loose pass dropped by the hosts caught Bridgend out as the Ironmen regathered and raced away for a Cole Swannack try. Lewis converted.

Bridgend made too many errors, and Merthyr took full advantage as Ben Jones bagged his second with just 46 minutes on the clock.

With the result sewn up, Bridgend set their sights on securing a try bonus, Stuart Floyd Ellis broke away in midfield, Dafi Davies was on hand to crash over for Bridgend‘s third try of the afternoon.

As we entered the final quarter, Dafi Davies was shown yellow, and the hosts struck for their seventh score. Ben Jones dived I’m for a hat-trick score, Josh Lewis added the extras to bring up 50 for the Ironmen.

Bridgend worked hard late on for a score that would see them leave with a point and it seemed Merthyr were going to hold out. Hodgkins, making his Bridgend debut from the bench, nailed a penalty to the touchline setting Bridgend up 5 meters out, handing a last ditch chance. Some powerful forward carries couldn’t quite get over the line and the ball was spread wide. Joseph Gatt was forced to step inside as the Merthyr defense rushed up outside. The center added another step to brush past the defense and dive over for the Ravens fourth try. Hodgkins converted for his first points in blue and white.
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