It was the perfect start for the home side, who have traditionally struggled against neighbours Neath since the advent of the semi-pro era. Cameron Clement initially failed to deal with a high ball but rescued the situation with a pass to full back Rhys Williams who used his speed to race through the Neath defence and chip through to score an outstanding try. Clement converted.
Moments later the visitors were penalised for holding onto the ball after the tackle but Clement missed the difficult penalty chance. The Welsh All Blacks began to assert themselves in the match with David Langdon, Lee Evans and Chris Morgans linking up in midfield, before the Whites' defence crept offside. Langdon kicked the resulting penalty goal.
Swansea hit back ten minutes later when number eight Dan Baker collected a ball from the ruck and powered 30 metres upfield, with Jake Cole on hand to score under the posts. Clement converted.
Neath cut the gap to eight points with a Langdon penalty when the Whites were caught offside in midfield. Centre Ryan Evans came inches short of scoring but the Swansea defence killed the ball to hand Langdon another three points and a 14-9 half time lead.
Swansea were temporarily reduced to 14 men shortly after the restart when Cole was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul. It took the visitors less than a minute to take advantage of the extra man when Morgans was held up a metre short of the line before lock Rhys Jones crashed over to score. Langdon converted to give his side the lead for the first time.
Replacement scrum half Elliot Jones strayed in front of a chip to the corner by Langdon and Clement opted to kick for territory. Both Rhodri Hughes and Baker were held up on the line before the All Blacks were able to clear.
Neath were then hit by two successive yellow cards inside two minutes. First flanker Matthew Rees was given his marching orders for being offside at the scrum and then replacement prop Nicky Downs was sent to the sidelines for taking a man out in the air at a lineout.
The cards seemed to work in favour of Neath as it meant a move to passive scrums at a time when Swansea had a significant upper hand in that area. The visitors defended heroically for the 10 minutes they were two men down and managed to repel wave after wave of attack.
Neath finished the stronger side with Kevin James almost gathering an Aaron Bramwell chip through near the try line, only for replacement winger Lewis Harrhy to track back to defend. The home side never threatened again and closed out victory by keeping possession inside the Swansea half during the closing stages.
Next up for Swansea is a trip to Cross Keys while Neath travel to Carmarthen.
Full time:- Swansea 14 Neath 16
Tries:- R Williams (4), Cole (21)
Cons:- Clement (5, 22)
Y cards:- Cole (45)
Tries:- R Jones (46)
Cons:- Langdon (47)
Pens:- Langdon (12, 28, 33)
Y cards:- Rees (63), Downs (64)