Both sides showed some expected rustiness given that it was their first competitive game of the season. But it was Keys' head coach Greg Woods who went home the happier.
"It was a typical first game of the season," he said.
"It was scrappy and we weren't pleased with our performance but it was knockout rugby. I'd give our performance five out of 10 and we didn't really get out of second gear but to come away with the win in such an important game was great.
"But I said to the boys that it's half-time, we've got to go Bedwas and do exactly the same."
While Keys can now look forward to a clash with Bedwas, Newport head coach Sven Cronk was left to regret his side's poor start to the game.
"All week we had spoken about the importance of making a good start but we didn't produce anything for the first 40 minutes," he said.
"We went really well for half an hour and got some nice pace on the ball but then we made some costly errors at the end."
The home side should probably have been more than 10 points clear after dominating most of the first half.
Home fly-half Dorian Jones kicked three penalties to two from opposite number Ethan Davies. He also converted flanker Reuben Tucker's try.
With a significant deficit to overcome, Newport improved after the break with Davies slotted two penalties to Jones' one.
Things then got better after 66 minutes, Newport reaping the benefits of finally stringing a move together and utilising their dangerous back three. Quick lineout ball was spun left to wing Elliot Frewen, full-back Geraint O'Driscoll then receiving the ball to send right wing Ashton Hewitt over.
Davies missed the conversion and that was as good as it got for the visitors.
Jones then settled Keys' nerves with a penalty and converted a super try scored by replacement centre Phil Williams.
There was still time for Keys to twist the knife late on with another Jones penalty and a converted try from lock Tom Lampard sealing the win.