The table-toppers thumped Mountain Ash 53-12 and received even more good news on their return to the clubrooms, with nearest rivals Newport Saracens losing 24-17 at Abercynon.
Howells scored two tries and kicked six goals as Bargoed taught Mountain Ash a lesson in running rugby. Centre Darren Humphreys also scored a brace of tries.
Abercynon wingers Gareth Davies and Lyndon Lewis scored crucial tries in their win over Saracens, who now trail Bargoed by three points, having played two more matches than the leaders. Cellar dwellers Brynmawr stormed back from being 19-3 down against Rhydyfelin, but ran out of time as they lost 33-27 - their 20th straight defeat of the season.
In a weather-hit round of Division 3 East matches, leaders Abergavenny look assured of the silverware at the end of the season after a hard-fought 15-5 win over second-placed Pontypool United. The victory - on the back of tries to winger Gareth Hughes-Jones and prop Matthew Price - gives Abervagenny a 12-point lead at the top, with only seven rounds left.
Llanishen scrum-half Owen Jenkins scored a try and kicked six goals as his club returned from Senghenydd with an impressive 30-21 win.
Treherbert's hopes of staying in touch with Division 3 South-East leaders Ynysybwl took a battering when they surprisingly lost 13-0 at Aberdare. Ynysybwl continued a fine season with a 26-12 victory over Ruthin.
In Division 4 East, Chepstow upset Cardiff HSOB 21-18, with tries to winger Carl Rodgers, hooker Matthew Gore and full-back Neil Evans, while third-placed Newport HSOB mauled bottom side Oakdale 43-5.
Division 4 South-East leaders Penallta are close to sealing the title after their 27-7 home win over Cilfynedd. Second-placed Penarth beat Cowbridge 30-27 in a thriller, but Penallta look to have too many games in hand to be deprived of the League title.
At the other end of the table, Penygraig picked up their fourth win of the season - a 40-0 hiding over winless Dinas Powys.
Machen's march to the Division 5 East title stumbled when they suffered their first League loss of the season on Saturday - a 21-13 reverse at home to second-placed Blaenavon. Visiting full-back Morgan Parry was the star of the show, scoring both his side's tries and kicking four goals to bag all 21 points.
Division 5 South-East champions-elect Porth showed why they already have the silverware in the bag with a 47-10 hammering of nearest rivals Bridgend Sports. Porth are now 14 points clear, with only one match remaining.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.