Rory Budina's score failed to secure a win for Bedwas
Neath maintained their recent impressive form with a narrow home win over Bedwas on Saturday.
A Ryan Evans try in the second half proved vital as Neath took the spoils, emerging with a 29-27 win from what was a hard fought encounter.
The visitors started brightly and had two early penalty chances. The first of these appeared to bisect the posts but the match officials thought otherwise and it was not allowed. Bedwas were not to be denied for long however and Lewis Hudd won a race to the line to touch down in the right hand corner. Lewis Robling converted from wide out.
Ten minutes later Bedwas increased their lead through an excellent Rory Budina try, the winger crossing under the sticks after a mazy run saw him bump off several defenders in the process. Robling again added the conversion.
Neath fought back though and after a series of scrums close to the Bedwas line, they were awarded a penalty try after the referee lost patience with the visitors' attempts to defend their line. Dai Langdon added the extras and with half time approaching, the home side grabbed a second try from a cleverly worked line out, scrum half Luc Jones darting over. Langdon's conversion drifted wide.
Neath drew first blood in the second half via a Dean Cummins penalty.
Bedwas came back strongly and Robling and Matthew Pewtner combined to put the former in for a try, the same player adding the conversion.
Neath continued to press before Bedwas hit the self destruct button. Phill Sargent and Ian George were both yellow carded within 60 seconds leaving the remaining 13 Bedwas players to defend like Trojans. Robling added a penalty after 71 minutes to increase the Bedwas lead to 10 points but the pressure finally told as Neath earnt a second penalty try just before the visitors returned to a full 15.
Langdon successfully converted but Bedwas still led by three points going into injury time.
And although it looked like they would hold on, Evans' try in the 10th minute of added time saw Neath secure their sixth win in seven games.
Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange is proud of his side's effort in against Pontypridd in the Principality Premiership final and as WRU TV's Liz Jones finds out, he's now looking forward to Wales' Under 20 campaign with confidence.
The countdown to the Junior World Championships starts in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to WRU U20 coaching co-ordinator Allan Lewis and captain Rory Thornton. We speak to the winning teams at SWALEC Finals Day, Wales Sevens manager Steffan Thomas and Wales women's rugby manager Caroline Spanton.
We hear from JPR Williams, Tommy David and all six clubs in SWALEC Finals Day, as well as the first woman to referee a game at the Millennium Stadium, in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. JPR and David reminisce over the 1979 final, while we hear from Pontypridd, Bridgend, Ystrad Rhondda, Ystradgynlais, Cambrian Welfare and Newcastle Emlyn. Kath Pritchard became the forst Welsh woman to referee a game at the Millennium Stadium - we speak to her and WRU community referee development officer Paul Adams.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
A look ahead to Judgement Day and back at youth finals day in the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Andrew Coombs, Jake Ball, James Davies, Dan Lydiate and Josh Navidi. We also speak to Wattstown, Ystradgynlais, Rhydfelin, Pontypool United, Penallta and Pontypridd youth coaches at finals day at the Millennium Stadium.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
The Principality Premiership awards and the Wales U20s get ready for the world cup in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from coach of the year, Ebbw Vale's Jason Strange and Wales scrum half Rhys Webb. We also speak to Wales U20s Rory Thornton, Harrison Keddie, Tom Phillips and Geraint Lewis.
Pontypridd claim the Principality Premiership title - we speak to captain Dafydd Lockyer and coach Gareth Wyatt on the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also hear from losing finalists Ebbw Vale and their coach Jason Strange, while Steve Tandy and Dan Baker look ahead to the Ospreys Guinness Pro12 semi-final in Munster and Wales U20 defence coach Richard Hodges talks about the Junior World Championships.
Bargoed gained revenge for their only league loss of the season 25 days earlier by Merthyr as they added the Worthington Mid District Cup at Sardis Road, Pontypridd, to their earlier Championship success with a 39-20 triumph.
Developing the game in Wales and creating a stable and progressive environment for players of the future
Taking the grass roots game out across the length and breadth of the nation, the SWALEC Leagues are the focus of the community rugby in Wales
SSE SWALEC Cup
The SSE SWALEC Cup, Plate and Bowl continue the legacy of the WRU Challenge Cup, culminating in a shot at glory at the Millennium Stadium
Women's Community Rugby embraces both the regional and community club game from Girls' Leagues through to the Women's Premier Division