Pontypridd snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as Llanelli came back from the dead to win a thrilling Konica Minolta Cup final at the Millennium Stadium.
The Scott Quinnell-coached Cup Kings bagged their 13th trophy thanks to scrum-half Chris MacDonald's cheeky 84th-minute try, after Pontypridd took a 24-8 lead into the final 10 minutes before self-destructing in front of a 10,000-strong crowd. Llanelli ran in three tries and converted the last of them to steal the one-point victory.
Quinnell paid tribute to his players after the stunning comeback. "You have to praise the players - every one of them put their bodies on the line for the whole match. To come back from 16 points down so late in the game is unbelievable - they were magnificent."
Pontypridd skipper Dan Godfrey admitted: "We're devastated. We had it and we threw it away - conceding 17 points in 10 minutes is unbelievable."
Pontypridd's teenage fly-half David Flanagan scored what looked like a match-winning 14 points with the boot, and he was being announced as the sponsors' man of the match over the tannoy just as MacDonald dotted down to ruin the script.
The Stradey Park side took an 8-6 lead into the break, before Pontypridd hit back with a try that stunned the Llanelli players. Pontypridd winger Richard Fussell burst through the midfield defence 70 metres out, chipped ahead, regathered and drew the final defender before offloading to teenage centre Dafydd Lockyear for the score. Flanagan took Ponty past the seven-point margin with a well-struck 40-metre goal, and winger Darren Berry looked to have sealed the match with a long-range try.
Veteran Llanelli centre Neil Boobyer and lock Bryn Griffiths made things interesting with tries, before MacDonald darted over from close range to send the Llanelli fans into hysterics. Flanagan had the chance to shut them up but his 40-metre attempt at goal in the 88th minute of the match drifted wide.