Newbridge maintained their perfect start to the season in SWALEC Division One East after a tense 9-6 win over Ebbw Vale at the Welfare Ground.
The hosts secured the victory thanks to a late drop goal from replacement centre Dan Phillips, but were also grateful to an assured defensive performance, particularly from the front five, against a Steelmen side that could not force its way past by brave home tackling.
Newbridge's nearest rivals Bargoed suffered their first defeat of the season, going down 21-17 at Treorchy. Zebras' record point-scorer Celyn Ashton slotted all seven of his penalty attempts to put the game against the 14-man visitors.
Bottom-of-the-table Tredegar were consigned to a seventh successive loss as they fell 32-7 at home to Beddau. The Green and Golds also registered a try-scoring bonus point after notching up five touchdowns, which included a brace for full back Ben Cullen.
Mid-table Blackwood came racing out of the blocks against Mountain Ash as David Ford scored what is believed to be the quickest try ever at Glan yr Afon Park. The no. 8 crossed after only 69 seconds to give his side a lead they never squandered in defeating the Old Firm 25-7.
Rumney suffered their third defeat on the bounce but they pushed Merthyr all the way in a 27-21 loss. Each side grabbed three converted tries, but two penalties from Neil Burnett was the difference between the sides.
The fixture between Gilfach Goch and Glamorgan Wanderers was abandoned just past the hour mark - with Gilfach leading 16-13 - after an injury to young Wanderers centre Ciaran Driscoll. He was taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital as a precautionary measure after suffering a neck injury, though the club said they were optimistic as to the prognosis.
SWALEC ONE WEST ROUND UP
Whitland stayed top of SWALEC Division One West after a narrow 27-21 win away at Tondu. Left winger David Williams and flanker Lee Granville were on the score sheet at Pandy Park. Williams enjoyed a fantastic all round game, adding a conversion and three penalties to his earlier effort before he was replaced by substitute Jonathan Thomas. Whitland hand gone into the interval 15-6 up but Tondu fought back well and tries from Matthew Davies and Paul Smithson narrowed the gap. Three late penalties from Whitland replacement Thomas were enough though to keep them top of the table.
UWIC stayed in second place after a thrilling 37-31 win away at Waunarlwydd. The visitors looked to be in control as they led 17-0 at half-time before a spirited come back from the home side. UWIC ran in four tries with backs Dan Bibby, Tom James and Rhodri Davies all on the score sheet. No. 10 Rhyddian Morris inflicted further misery on Waunarlwydd, kicking 14 points. Centre Dan Fox's two tries formed part of the comeback but it was not enough.
Llangennech kept up the pressure on Whitland and UWIC with a narrow nine point victory over Carmarthen Athletic. Chris Strickler and Liam Hutchins scored a try a piece with Ricky Williams and Aled Robins kicking the rest of the points. Dai Lakin kicked three penalties for Llangennech's midtable rivals but they failed to cross the whitewash as they went down 18-9.
Lowly Bonymaen put up a good performance away at TATA Steel but still slipped to defeat. Centre Richard Cuwniffe crossed for the visitors and fly-half Richard Warlow added three penalties but it was not enough. In a forward dominated effort, TATA's No. 8 Robbie Morgan and Hooker Phil Crocker crossed the line as well helping to force a penalty try. Dickie Bird and Scott Robinson added the extras in the 26-16 win.
Elsewhere, Llanharan moved off the bottom of the league with a surprising win over Bridgend Athletic at Dairy Fields. The home side led 12-10 at the break in what was a tight contest but the home side drew a blank in the second half as Llanharan triumphed 22-10. Prop Sam Pick and Winger Loren Quick were among the scorers with Mike Thomas kicking the rest of the points. Scrum-half Aled Thomas scored Bridgend's only try.
Full-back and Captain Steve Martin ran in a hat-trick as Narbeth easily dispatched Ammanford 43-7. Narbeth ran in four other tries, winger Nick Jones scoring one and adding four conversions in what was a comprehensive victory.