AN in-form Ebbw Vale travelled to the Brewery Field seeking to extend an eight-match unbeaten run with a fourth straight win in all competitions, writes Guto Davies.

The reverse fixture back in September had ended in a close-fought 17pts to 16 win for the Steelmen. The result was replicated on this occasion, Ebbw battling to a 10pts to 14 victory in a classic game of two halves played in cloying conditions.

The visitors took time to settle but after soaking up early Bridgend pressure, were able to put width into their attacks, followed by a close range shunt to the line from which lock Kristian Parker claimed the breakthrough try.

Ebbw remained in control, dominant in the set piece, working hard to wrestle possession from their opponents and with their handling skills often defying the dismal conditions. Pressure was duly turned into points as outside-half Rhys Jones stepped up to slot two penalties between the posts, the second from long distance.

For Bridgend, the first half started and ended with missed penalty attempts, giving Ebbw a deserved interval lead of 11 unanswered points.

Bridgend emerged for the second half in a clean kit of bright yellow, and the change of colours was to give them a change of fortunes as the game progressed. It was Ebbw, however, who drew first blood, earning a penalty award from a typical power scrum which Rhys Jones converted from in front of the posts.

From there on in it was the home team who gained the upper hand as the contest was turned on its head. Bridgend were able to launch mauls and drives to keep play up in the visitors’ half, eventually rewarded as winger Ashley Evans rounded off a wide attack with a try in the corner, converted by Cai Evans, who also added a penalty to his tally.

The game built up to a tense finale, trench warfare in the mud, with Bridgend remaining in the ascendancy, but Ebbw Vale held out with a series of forward drives to claim their valuable away win.

Bridgend: 15.Cai Evans. 14.Morgan Jones. 13.Stuart Floyd-Ellis. 12.Nathan Edwards - cpt. 11.Ashley Evans. 10.Jamie Murphy. 9.Connor Tantum.

1.Rhodri Apsee. 2.Gareth Harvey. 3.Neil Elworthy. 4.Jack Pope. 5.Ben Jones. 6.Jordan Collier. 7.Aled Evans. 8.Dafi Davies.

Scorers: Try: Ashley Evans. Con: Cai Evans. Pen: Cai Evans.

Ebbw Vale: 15.Dan Haymond. 14.Steff Thomas. 13.James Lewis. 12.Dom Franchi. 11.Toby Fricker. 10.Rhys Jones. 9.Matthew Flanagan.

1.Luke Garrett. 2.Joe Franchi. 3.Rob Sevenoaks. 4.Kristian Parker. 5.Ashley Sweet - cpt. 6.Rhys Clarke. 7.Lloyd Evans. 8.Cameron Regan.

Scorers: Try: Kristian Parker. Pens: Rhys Jones (3)