Pontypridd's Lloyd Williams feels the force of two Carmarthen tackles
Defending champions Pontypridd moved two points clear at the top of the Principality Premiership with what could be a vital 34-14 win over Carmarthen Quins at Sardis Road.
Geraint Lewis' side applied early pressure, full back Aled Summerhill going close to scoring but when Rhys Williams intercepted a loose pass, it was the Quins who took a 7-0 lead, Craig Evans adding the conversion.
Pontypridd hit back through a Dai Flanagan penalty and with the visitors continuing to be penalised, full back Ellis Phillips was soon yellow carded. The home side made the most of their extra man almost immediately to seize control, centres Geraint Walsh and Dafydd Lockyer crossing for quick-fire scores. And with Flanagan adding both sets of extras, the home side led 24-7 at the break.
Quins needed a fast start to the second half but when Walsh added his second, the visitors were up against it. Evans then converted a try of his own but with replacement Garyn Smith crossing late on, Pontypridd claimed a vital win to celebrate Craig Locke's 100th appearance for the club.
Elsewhere, Bedwas continued their recent good form as a hat-trick from winger Elliot Jones secured a 32-23 win over Aberavon. Harley Thomson was also on the score sheet at the Bridge Field but the Wizards refused to go away. Evan Yardley and David Pritchard both crossed for the visitors but it was Bedwas who drew clear.
At Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff made amends for their defeat to Bridgend earlier this season with a 27-21 victory over the Ravens. The Blue and Blacks led 17-11 at half time, outscoring their opponents by two tries to one, with Tom Slater and James Loxton their scorers. The second half was equally as tight but Loxton's second of the afternoon proved key.
In the other games to take place, there were wins for both Scarlets based clubs as Llandovery and Llanelli got the better of Swansea and Cross Keys respectively. The win for the Drovers puts Swansea eight points from safety while Llanelli remain six points clear of Keys.
At Rodney Parade, Newport were 20-3 winners over Neath with left wing Owen Broad's brace doing the damage.
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.
The Welsh Rugby Union has signed a new four year deal with specialist equipment supplier Rhino Rugby, which is set to benefit both the grass roots game in Wales and the national squad in equal measure.
We watch the new grass growing and being stitched together in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to Millennium Stadium groundsman Lee Evans, Wales great Ieuan Evans gives an overview on the new strategy announced by head of rugby Josh Lewsey, while we also hear from Bedwas, Aberavon and Carmarthen Quins in the Principality Premiership.
Having just secured a top place finish in the Principality Premiership, Pontypridd are given no time to rest on their laurels as they face a tough away trip to face Cross Keys on Saturday at Pandy Park (KO 2:30pm).