Newport were winners at The Gnoll despite going down to 14 men
Newport pulled off a remarkable victory over Neath at The Gnoll on Friday night after having lock Adam Brown red carded after half an hour.
Brown, who was initially yellow-carded in the 14th minute for killing the ball, then saw red for a similar offence. Black and Ambers prop Gethin Robinson was also binned during a stop-start half that saw the Welsh All Blacks lead 15-3 at the break.
But despite being down to 14, Newport hit back in determined style to gain a second successive Gnoll victory. It took just 50 seconds for Neath to open their account, ex-Newbridge centre Arron Pinches breaking and wing Bowdy Davies claiming an unconverted try. Former Newport flanker Gareth Gravell scored a close-range try in the 13th minute against 14 men and repeated the feat eight minutes later with Newport down to 13.
Penalties either side of half time from full-back Geraint O'Driscoll gave Newport hope. And they were right back in it when wing Elliot Frewen sprinted clear to claim a 27th league try.
O'Driscoll converted and the 14 men shook The Gnoll when the full-back landed another penalty to give them a one point lead.
Five minutess later, a fourth O'Driscoll penalty enhanced their advantage ahead of a lengthy stoppage caused by an injury to Neath fly-half Dai Langdon.
The Black and Ambers then showed true grit, crowning an amazing comeback with an 80th minute try under the posts from fly-half Ethan Davies.
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.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
Bedwas ran in five first half tries as they put Neath to the sword with a 43-15 victory and in doing so earned a final position of fifth in the Welsh Premiership, Cardiff's one extra win earning them the fourth spot despite Bedwas's better points difference.
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.