Neath captain Gareth Llewellyn went into this match complaining that Ebbw Vale never provided his team with enough competition in the Welsh League - and it very nearly blew up in his face.
Ebbw Vale held a stunning two-point lead as the clock edged past the 80-minute mark, before a Shaun Connor penalty goal for Neath snatched victory at the death.
It's the second time this season that the Steelmen have lost by a point at Eugene Cross Park and as the seconds ticked by, Neath coach Lyn Jones must have rued putting on a second-string side.
Jones said he was delighted with the win a week out from his side's Celtic League final against Munster at the Millennium Stadium.
"When you come to places like Ebbw Vale prior to a big game, you're better off playing guys who want to perform and they did themselves and the club proud," he said.
"The guys came off with their tank empty and it was good experience for the youngsters."
The All Blacks have scrum-half Ricky Richards to thank for the vital win, with the under-21 star picking up a brace of tries in his first start for the senior side this season.
Richards opened his account in the fifth minute after some good work from lock Lyndon Bateman, before scampering over untouched in the 10th minute to give the visitors a 14-0 lead.
A piece of wizardry gave the Steelmen their first points when scrum-half Bryan Shelbourne chipped over a flat Neath defence before regathering to score, and he narrowed the margin further with a superb 40m penalty goal into the wind.
The All Blacks needed a good lead at the break, and it came through veteran backrower Rowland Phillips. Connor converted his captain's try and added a penalty to give Neath a 24-8 cushion at halftime. And they needed every one of them as Mike Ruddock's Ebbw Vale side powered back into contention.
The Steelmen took immediate advantage of the wind in the second half when New Zealand-born winger Aaron Takarangi scored in the corner, before prop Adam Black took the shortest route to the tryline - straight through some woeful Neath defence - and the score was suddenly 23-24.
Shelbourne had the Eugene Cross Park faithful on their feet with a 78th-minute penalty goal, before Connor - standing in for kicking machine Lyn Jarvis - showed nerves of steel to silence them with in the final minute.
Scorers: Ebbw Vale: Tries - B Shelbourne, A Takarangi, A Black; Pens - B Shelbourne 3; Con - B Shelbourne. Neath: Tries - R Richards 2, R Phillips; Pens - S Connor 2; Cons - S Connor 3.