Wales Sevens star Rhys Jones was in fine form for Cross Keys against Bridgend.
Cross Keys claimed the victory over Bridgend on Saturday afternoon with another below par performance that was still good enough to get the win over tough opposition.
The opening 15 minutes or so were very even with both sides having their fair share of territory and possession. It was the Ravens who opened the scoring with an unconverted try by full back Ross Jones who crossed after some poor attempted tackles from Keys after the defensive line was cut open by the Ravens' sharp backs.
Keys responded just five minutes later when Jones kicked a long range penalty just as it looked as though Keys were finally getting the better of the visitors with the Keys powerful pack causing problems for the Ravens.
Keys were then rewarded with a penalty try after around half an hour of play with Rhys Jones kicking the easiest of conversions to put Keys into the lead for the first time.
Just before the interval Keys lead was extended once more by Rhys Jones as he kicked a huge penalty from the halfway line.
For the last few weeks Keys have started the second half poorly but in this game they actually started the half brightly and Rhys Jones made a lovely break early in the half as Keys made their intentions for the half clear.
After 49 minutes Keys scored an excellent try thanks to a lovely break from scrum half Ryan James who timed his pass to outside half Steffan Jones to perfection and Steffan made a wonderful break to feed wing Nathan Trowbridge who stepped inside the last man to finish well in front of the scoreboard. Rhys Jones converting as Keys looked to turn on the style.
As the second half went on Keys were really beginning to play with more intent but as they looked to build another attack approaching the Ravens 22, a lose pass was intercepted by Ravens outside half James Dixon and he sprinted home to cross under the posts for a try against the run of play which he converted himself.
Keys heads appeared to drop as a result of the interception and Dixon kicked a penalty to bring the Ravens to within a score with just under 10 minutes remaining and with both sides down to 14 men with Keys Danny Hodge and Ravens Scott Hicks in the sin bin after a altercation on the halfway line.
Reuben Tucker and Darren Hughes were outstanding throughout for Keys and have perhaps caused the coaching team more than a few selection headaches as a result of their fine performances.
Cross Keys: Tries: Nathan Trowbridge, Pen Try; Cons: Rhys Jones (2); Pens: Rhys Jones (2) Bridgend Ravens:Tries: Ross Jones , James Dixon; Con: Dixon; Pen: Dixon
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.
This week on the Principality Premiership Podcast, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie talks to Carmarthen Quins head coach Louie Tonkin who is aiming to close the gap on leading duo, Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale, with victory against Bridgend tomorrow.
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.
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