Simon Humberstone's two late penalties saw off Aberavon
Pontypridd continued their winning run with victory over Aberavon at Sardis Road but not by the margin many would have expected.
The home side eventually ran out 22-17 winners and look the side to beat at the moment. The Wizards pushed them close though and Simon King's side look to be improving with every game.
And it was the visitors who took the lead, opening their account within one minute through a penalty kicked by outside half Jamie Davies. The score was quickly cancelled out though as Ponty made headway into their opponents half for Simon Humberstone to respond with a penalty of his own.
A lengthy injury interval ensued as Aberavon back rower and former Ponty icon Nathan Strong was carried off, but when play resumed, Ponty were once more advancing from a solid forward platform. Pressure was turned into points as Humberstone drilled over a penalty in front of the posts with 17 minutes gone.
The Pontypridd fly half added another penalty but the contest was anything but a classic, often stuttering from set piece to set piece to the accompaniment of the referee's whistle.
The breakthrough finally came though when the Ponty pack drove onwards for lock Chris Dicomidis to claim a try. Humberstone converted for a 16-3 interval lead.
The start of the second half mirrored the first with an early Jamie Davies penalty sailing between the posts. Having defended resolutely against an Aberavon attack, Ponty worked their way into the visitors' 22 but were unable to strike for a score.
And Aberavon responded, first through another Davies penalty before scrum half David Pritchard charged down a kick for an opportunist score wide out.
With the referee's whistle still dominant in an error strewn and pattern-less encounter, Aberavon seemed to be gaining in confidence and outside half Davies struck over another penalty to edge his team into a one point lead.
Facing defeat square in the face, Ponty showed their Championship credentials and responded admirably - two more Humberstone penalties putting the home side back in front to secure the win.
Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange is proud of his side's effort in against Pontypridd in the Principality Premiership final and as WRU TV's Liz Jones finds out, he's now looking forward to Wales' Under 20 campaign with confidence.
The countdown to the Junior World Championships starts in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to WRU U20 coaching co-ordinator Allan Lewis and captain Rory Thornton. We speak to the winning teams at SWALEC Finals Day, Wales Sevens manager Steffan Thomas and Wales women's rugby manager Caroline Spanton.
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.
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.
The Principality Premiership awards and the Wales U20s get ready for the world cup in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from coach of the year, Ebbw Vale's Jason Strange and Wales scrum half Rhys Webb. We also speak to Wales U20s Rory Thornton, Harrison Keddie, Tom Phillips and Geraint Lewis.
Pontypridd claim the Principality Premiership title - we speak to captain Dafydd Lockyer and coach Gareth Wyatt on the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also hear from losing finalists Ebbw Vale and their coach Jason Strange, while Steve Tandy and Dan Baker look ahead to the Ospreys Guinness Pro12 semi-final in Munster and Wales U20 defence coach Richard Hodges talks about the Junior World Championships.
Bargoed gained revenge for their only league loss of the season 25 days earlier by Merthyr as they added the Worthington Mid District Cup at Sardis Road, Pontypridd, to their earlier Championship success with a 39-20 triumph.
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