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Cardiff Demons 14 Bridgend Blue Bulls 54
Cardiff?s hopes of becoming the first ever club to defeat Bridgend with their record of 22 games unbeaten were dashed by a fine first half display masterminded by evergreen scrum half Kevin Ellis.
Despite two previous close encounters between the clubs who were champions of their respective divisions last year, the Blue Bulls stamped their authority on the game early on and by the break had built an unassailable 26-0 lead. The first try was an old fashioned Kevin Ellis-John Devereux handling combination with Ellis finding space to go in under the posts. Gareth Jones almost equalised for Cardiff with a clever chip and chase but Dai Owen slipped through a tackle to go in for Bridgend?s second and Lenny Woodard made it 16-0 on 23 minutes scoring in the corner. Further first half tries from Geraint Lewis and Lenny Woodard put the Blue Bulls out of sight.
Demons? fans must have feared that the second period was going to be a repeat of the first when Kevin Ellis sold a fine dummy to go in with the half just a minute old. But spirits in the Cardiff camp were lifted when centre Lee Mullane and Coach Wayne Williams combined for an excellent try covering sixty metres down the left wing. Gareth Jones then showed his handling skills to go in for a second Demons? try and bring the score back to 8-32, but Dai Owen responded with a try from a Cardiff error on 54 minutes. Lenny Woodard made sure of his hat-trick on the hour when he pounced on a grubber kick, but Gareth Jones restored some pride for the Demons with a well worked try which he converted himself to make the score 14-42.
However Bridgend had the last words, first with Dai Owen securing his own hat-trick when he latched on to a pass thrown wide to the left and tipped by Woodard. As time ran out the enthusiastic Welsh crowd were treated to a memorable moment of brilliance from Kevin Ellis which brought back memories of his days at Wilderspool when he picked up a loose ball ten metres out and manufactured a great try for Lloyd O?Connor to give the Blue Bulls their biggest win over Cardiff. Bridgend?s winning run extends to 22 games and they remain on course for the Welsh Conference Championship and the chance to retain the Harry Jepson Trophy.
Cardiff coach Wayne Williams was philosophical in defeat ?We?ll take a lot of positives from today, Bridgend are a quality side but we?ve scored some good tries in the second half. We need to lose the habit we?ve had all season of starting off too slowly.?
written by Simon Davies
Round-up by Ian Golden:
Swansea Valley Miners 8 Aberavon Fighting Irish 77
Aberavon Fighting Irish stay second after hammering Swansea Valley Miners 77-8. Liam Gadd lead the way scoring five tries and 12 goals giving him a Welsh Conference record of 44 points in a game.
Dai Hawkins and Ceri Thomas both registered hat-tricks while Richard Lewis and Daniel Hawkins also went over, the latter also scoring a field goal. Chris Beck replied with two tries for Swansea.
Valley Cougars 18 Torfaen Tigers 26
Torfaen Tigers had to fight all the way for their win against a strong Valley Cougars side.
Torfaen scored all their tries in the first half as Damien Smith, Jason Hill, Craig Jones and Daniel Phillips all crossed. Alun Williams and Rhodri Morris replied for the Cougars making the half-time score 24-10.
The Cougars fought back in the second half with tries from Geraint George and Richard Andrews but in the end it was their kicking game that denied them the points as Alun Williams only converted one of the Cougars? four tries. It was Torfaen?s Matt Entwhistle who was the match-winner, kicking five goals to give the Tigers a 26-18 win.
Saturday 26th June - Total RL.Com Welsh Rugby League Conference Fixtures:
Bridgend Blue Bulls v Valley Cougars (Bridgend Town FC) Aberavon Fighting Irish v Cardiff Demons (Aberavon Greenstars RFC) Newport Titans v Swansea Valley Miners (Pill Harriers RFC)