BRIDGEND BLUE BULLS 48 ABERAVON FIGHTING IRISH 8
The Bridgend Blue Bulls continued their amazing unbeaten run and guaranteed themselves a place in the Welsh Grand Final by destroying Aberavon Fighting Irish 48-8 at Maesteg RFC�s Old Parish Ground.
The Bulls scored 10 tries in all with Karl Hocking, Grant Epton and Carle Ellis (pictured) scoring two each.
Bridgend got off to a great start with a an early try from Dan Shore but the Fighting Irish looked the better team early on and only some terrific tackling kept them from scoring, and when it seemed certain Aberavon were going to score when the ball was intercepted by Nathan Strong who passed out to Dai Owen and the centre then went on a spectacular run to score an amazing solo try, dodging and shrugging off half a dozen tackles as he raced to the line. Marc Davies converted to give his team a 10-0 lead.
Jason Massey then went on an equally good run for the Fighting Irish but the pass to wing David Dyer was knocked on with the tryline begging. But a 2nd break from Massey saw centre Geraint Davies claim Aberavons 1st try of the game, and they almost got a 2nd moments later but hooker Craig Fox intercepted the try scoring pass.
Matthew Wareham then had a try disallowed for the Bulls for a forward pass but Kevin Ellis� side managed to score two more tries late on through Grant Epton and Karl Hocking with Marc Davies adding a conversion to give the Bridgend Blue Bulls a 20-4 half time lead.
The 2nd half was only two minutes old when the Bulls claimed their 5th try, which was awarded to Lenny Woodard when despite being falling short of the line he stretched out his long arm and just made it to the whitewash.
But Aberavon showed their Fighting Irish spirit and got a deserved try soon after through prop Andy Llewellyn to make it 28-8. But the Blue Bulls were in determined mood and two great passes from Kevin Ellis put his brother Carle over for two tries in as many minutes and moments later fullback Marc Davies crossed the line after an comical backward pass from Dan Williams. The men in Green were then put away for good as wing Grant Epton crossed again as the Bulls scored a remarkable four tries in just seven minutes.
To round things off Karl Hocking claimed his 2nd and the Bulls 10th try in the final minute of the game and Dai Owen converted to give the reigning Harry Jepson Champions a 48-8 victory.
Before the match Kevin Ellis had installed Aberavon as favourites but the Bulls turned on the style and played some superb Rugby. Kevin was once again the catalyst of most of the Bridgend moves while his brother Carle had a superb game in the centre alongside Dai Owen. Forwards Dan Williams, Jon Purnell, Nathan Strong, Mike Davies and Dan Shore were all in fine form while Marc Davies, Craig Fox, Lenny Woodard and Grant Epton always looked threatening.
For Aberavon Jason Massey and Ceri Thomas stood out and if final passes had gone to hand the scoreline would have been a lot closer.
The Blue Bulls have two tough games to end the season against Torfaen Tigers and Newport Titans and those games could well decide who the Fighting Irish play in the 2nd v 3rd play off, of which the winner will play the Bridgend Blue Bulls in the Wales Grand Final.
by Simon Green
BRIDGEND BLUE BULLS SCORERS:
TRIES: Dan Shore Dai Owen Grant Epton (2) Karl Hocking (2) Lenny Woodard Carle Ellis (2) Marc Davies
GOALS: Marc Davies (3) Dai Owen
ABERAVON FIGHTING IRISH SCORERS:
TRIES: Geraint Davies Andy Llewellyn
TORFAEN TIGERS 30 NEWPORT TITANS 18
Torfaen Tigers are just a point behind third place Newport Titans in the Total RL.com Welsh Rugby League Conference after beating them 30-18 at The Jungle.
Newport started well with first half tries from Dan Nelmes, Ben Morris and Ross Palmer giving them a 14-6 half-time lead, Torfaen�s consolation coming from Matthew Penny, but the Tigers dominated the second half.
Welsh international Damien Hudd opened the scoring for the hosts before Craig Jones gave them a 16-14 lead, grounding after a 20 metre run.
Newport then took the lead through a Ross Palmer try but scores from Jones, Matt Williams and Hudd, the latter another excellent 20 metre run, gave Torfaen the points.
Torfaen host Bridgend Blue Bulls on Wednesday at The Jungle (kick-off 7.15pm) before travelling to Swansea Valley Miners next Saturday. The Tigers need to win both matches to secure a place in the Welsh Conference play-offs.
VALLEY COUGARS 46 SWANSEA VALLEY MINERS 24
A titanic clash is in store at between Cardiff Demons and Valley Cougars at Taffs Well next week as the Cougars beat Swansea Valley Miners 46-24 in an epic at Sardis Road.
Ashley Carter gave Swansea a first minute lead through a poor Cougars error but the home side fought back with tries from Martin Lewis, and a brace of well worked tries from Alun Williams, who also kicked a penalty to give then a 16-6 half-time lead.
Despite being down to 12 men in the second-half, Cougars� Martin Lewis being sent off for reaction fighting late in the first period, the home side dominated for the rest of the game.
However, Swansea were first to score with a length of the field run from Dean Carter. Paul Emmanuelli and Jamie Redwood both scored for the Cougars before Swansea made the extra man count as Carter finished off an excellent passing move by grounding in the corner.
Cougars battled for their win with three well worked tries in the last 20 minutes with Gareth Jeffries, Adrian Owen and Matthew Cripps all scoring, Cripps converting all three.
The Cougars and the Demons now meet at Taffs Well on Saturday July 24th (kick off 2.30pm) knowing that a win for either side will leave them in fifth place and giving them home advantage in the Shield Play-offs should Swansea slip up at home to Torfaen.
Next week's fixtures:
Wednesday July 21st (7.15pm) Torfaen Tigers v Bridgend Blue Bulls (Pontypool United RFC)
Saturday July 24th (2.30pm) Cardiff Demons v Valley Cougars (Taffs Well RFC) Newport Titans v Bridgend Blue Bulls (Pill Harriers RFC) Swansea Valley Miners v Torfaen Tigers (Ystalyfera RFC)