Though victory was deserved with a 4-1 try-count, neither side played to expectations and it was not a good showpiece for the Division with both sides and the referee making far too many errors.
Fly half Chris Anderson, a former Neath player, opened the scoring with a penalty, but Neath hit back with a brace of tries by wing Richard Johnston, of which James Hook converted the second.
Two more Anderson penalties followed, but both he and Hook failed with attempts until Hook succeeded on the hour for a 15-9 lead. Neath skipper Gareth Morris then scored a try that Hook converted, but Cardiff replied with a dubious score from Chris Czekaj.
Another Hook penalty was followed by a corner try from Neath centre Andrew Bishop in the closing minutes.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets