14th August 2005, 16:21
2005 Grand Final - Bridgend 56 Torfaen Tigers 16
A crowd of over 1,000 watched Bridgend Blue Bulls win their third...
A crowd of over 1,000 watched Bridgend Blue Bulls win their third successive Welsh Rugby League championship after beating Torfaen Tigers 56-16 at the Brewery Field on Sunday.
Jason Hill crashed over in the second minute to give Torfaen the lead.
But Bridgend hit back. Neil Dixon finished off an excellent move four minutes later to level things and Paul Morgan made a 50-metre run directly from kick-off to give the Blue Bulls a 12-6 lead.
Grant Epton's 50-metre dash down the left wing to score in the 19th minute increased Bridgend?s lead.
Bridgend's Hywel Davies was sinbinned on the half-hour but Torfaen failed to take advantage of the extra man straight away. In fact, it was Bridgend who added to their score. Jason Hill was tackled in his own area and from the resulting play, Lloyd O'Connor grounded under the posts.
Nolan Nicklin hit back for Torfaen with a try on 35 minutes but following a lengthy delay due to an injury, Lenny Woodard scored under the sticks for Bridgend to make the score 28-10 at the break.
Torfaen started the second half in great form and their constant attacking paid off when Dan Preece scored in the corner on 46 minutes.
But the Tigers' faint hopes of victory were finally ended ten minutes later after Mathew Entwhistle was sent off for a high tackle.
Paul Morgan increased the Bulls' lead to 16 with a try in the 57th minute. Hywel Davies scored in the corner six minutes later. Grant Epton could have increased the lead even further but his 60-metre run was ended by a try-saving Dai Davies tackle.
Matthew Wareham scored in the corner to put Bridgend 40-16 up. Morgan completed his hat-trick in the 76th minute and Gareth David and Grant Epton competed the rout with tries in the last two minutes to make the final score 56-16.
BRIDGEND BLUE BULLS: 1. Neil Dixon, 2. Owen Strong, 3. Paul Morgan, 4. Lenny Woodard, 5. Grant Epton, 6. Gareth David, 7. Craig Fox, 8. Nathan Strong, 9. Lloyd O'Connor, 10. Matthew Wareham, 11. Carle Ellis, 12. John Devereux, 13. Dean Fitzgerald. Substitutes: 14. Darryl Dyke, 15. Hywel Davies, 16. John Doherty, 17. Leigh Taylor.
Tries: Dixon (6), Morgan (8, 57, 76), Epton (19, 80), O?Connor (31), Woodard (40), Davies (63), Wareham (70), David (79)
Goals: David 6/11
TORFAEN TIGERS: 1. Dale Nash, 2. Damien Smith, 3. Nolan Nicklin, 4. Jessie Farthing, 5. Dai Davies, 6. Mathew Entwhistle, 7. Gareth Morris, 8. Steven Mayley, 9. Jason Hill, 10. Dan Preece, 11. Chris Williams, 12. Damien Hudd, 13. Matthew Davies. Substitutes: 14. Matthew Francombe, 15. Adrian Fowler, 16. Scott Bendon, 20. Robert Taylor.
Tries: Hill (2), Nicklin (35), Preece (46)
Goals: Entwhistle 2/3
Gamebreaker: Matt Entwhistle's sending off gave Bridgend the extra man and gave Torfaen no hope of a comeback.
Gamestar: Chosen by Welsh Rugby League President Mike Nicholas - Paul Morgan, the hat-trick hero.
Men of the Match:
Blue Bulls: Paul Morgan
Tigers: Nolan Nicklin
Referee: Steve Davies