The gallant home effort could have been even better but for a knock-on at the back of the scrum after Pwllheli eight had pushed their visitors off the ball close to their line. But, in the end, tries from Emyr Jones and Carl Studt weren't enough to win the day.
Having launched the defence of their crown with a crushing nine try, 59-0 home win over Llandudo this was a much sterner test that proved Caernarfon might not get things all their own way this winter.
Even so, four tries flowed to secure a bonus point that keeps them at the top of the table with a maximum 10 points from their opening two matches.
Peredur Ellis kept his cool to kick the two penalties that earned Nant Conwy a hard-fought 6-3 win at Bethesda. Having provided the only points of the first half with his ninth minute strike, he then responded to home outside half Dylan Roberts' equalising kick to steal the honours 10 minutes from time.
Roberts was wide with three long range attempts in the second half, while Wyn Roberts got over the home try line, but couldn't force the ball down to gather the points.
Bro Ffestiniog continued their winning ways by running in six tries in a big 47-12 win at Mold, while Bala also won on the road, beating Llangefni 19-5. But the biggest winners in Division 1 were Ruthin, who trounced Llandudno 61-7.
Centre Kyle Davies grabbed three of the nine tries to celebrate his 100th appearance for the club in rousing style, while full back Shay Tudor ended with 16 points from the boot. Llandudno's sole points came from a back row try which Tom Beaumont converted.
There were some big scores in Division 2, where there were hat-tricks for Antony 'Crusher' Mills and Paul Jehu in a dozen home tries in a 73-7 win over Machynlleth and Rhyl scored 10 in their 64-11 victory against Colwyn Bay.
Denbigh just did enough to hold on to beat Wrexham 17-12 in a game in which wing James Wynne was the hero with two tries. It was 14-12 to Denbigh at half-time and the only points in the second half came from a clinching penalty from Llew Edwards.
COBRA beat Abergele 24-13, with tries from Andrew Pryce, Rhodri Davies and Alwyn Williams, while Dolgellau picked up a bonus point in their 46-16 triumph at Newtown.
The story of the day in Division 3 came at Shotton Steel, where the home side ran in 20 tries and added 16 conversions in a club record 132-0 win over Caer Borderers. The visitors boldly played with courage and spirit right to the end, despite being reduced to 13 men through injuries in the second half.
Rhos helped themselves to bonus point and more as they went to Welshpool and won 76-8, while Menai Bridge may have lacked a goal-kicker for their home clash with Bangor, but they still emerged with a bonus point as they notched five tries in a 25-5 win.
Josh Wilson scored a hat-trick in Llangollen's bonus point victory at Flint, 31-7, while Benllech held out Holyhead on home soil, winning 13-3.