Despite wins over Bedwas and Bridgend, Pontypridd head coach Dale McIntosh had been unhappy with his side's performances so far. But after overcoming Keys, who themselves had not been beaten prior to Saturday, McIntosh would have been in a much better frame of mind.
Though the visitors eventually ran out as winners, it was Cross Keys who enjoyed most of the early possession. The pressure took its toll, but young outside half Angus O'Brien was successful with only one of three penalty attempts.
The home side's three point lead was then cancelled out as Pontypridd outside half Simon Humberstone kicked two penalties for the visitors. The game was more a war of attrition than a free flowing spectacle, but Pontypridd were edging the contest as the referee's decisions in the scrum area mostly went their way.
Having so far depended on perseverance rather than flair to carry them through, Pontypridd finally moved up a gear deep into first half injury time. A flowing move was rounded off with a try scored and converted by Humberstone giving the visitors an interval advantage of 10 points.
O'Brien slotted over an early second half penalty as Cross Keys maintained territorial advantage, pounding into a sometimes beleaguered Pontypridd defence. And with flanker Wayne O'Connor sin binned for his efforts, home pressure was again turned into points as flanker Scott Matthews crossed for a try with 52 minutes gone.
Pontypridd responded with another penalty from Humberstone before the fly half, who was having a great day with the boot, converted a try from Gavin Dacey.
The tide then turned back Cross Keys' way but they failed to break through a Pontypridd defence again depleted by the sin-binning of flanker Thomas Young.
And when Dacey went over for his second touchdown, it sealed a hard fought away win.