Bargoed took advantage of Ebbw Vale's weekend off to draw level with the Steelmen at the top of Swalec Division One East after a narrow win at Gilfach Goch.
The highfliers were made to work hard for their 12-9 victory at WelfarePark, but scored two tries, through winger Lee Pearson and a penalty try. The hosts, who remain fourth despite the defeat, could only reply with three penalty kicks for winger Adam Wray.
Third-placed Newbridge, who started the day level on points with Gilfach, ran out comfortable 31-7 winners over visiting Mountain Ash, picking up a crucial bonus point in the process. In an open and expansive game at the Welfare Ground, home scrum half Tom Edwards and winger Dwayne Dyer bagged a brace of tries apiece, with outside half Neil Burnett adding a try of his own and three conversions.
An incident-packed encounter at the Oval saw visitors Beddau run out 20-15 winners to narrow the gap with hosts Treorchy. In a game dominated by a strong wind, it took a 78th-minute try from Beddau replacement back row Owen Sheppeard - who emerged from a pile of bodies following a driving maul - to win it for the visitors.
Yellow cards for the hosts proved to be their downfall, with captain and second row Jamie Summers in the sin bin when Sheppeard touched down. The Zebras had taken a 15-13 lead with just a quarter of an hour to play after a try for number 8 Daniel Thorne, but were unable to hold on for the win. Earlier, first half tries had come from Treorchy full back Jordan Lloyd and Beddau centre Bradley Coombes.
Merthyr also recorded a 20-15 win, in their case over the Glamorgan Wanderers at the Wern. The Wanderers, who remain in 11th place despite just their third defeat in six games, were 12-0 up just before the half-time break, but tries either side of the break from Ironmen scrumhalf Darryl Jenkins and hooker Kristian Dacey secured the win. Wanderers' five-pointers came courtesy of centre partnership Charlie Johnson and Joe Xiberras.
Elsewhere, a try each from centres Adam Jones and Jamie Jones helped Blackwood to a 17-8 over Rumney in a low-scoring but entertaining affair at Glan-yr-AfonPark.