Cardiff were out of the blocks like jack rabbits, catching the Neath defence cold as Jack Phillips waltzed over following quick work on the Blue and Blacks right. Jason Tovey, former Dragons and current Blues outside half, missed the conversion but landed a penalty a few minutes later to extend the lead to 0-8 in favour of the away team.
Neath then got back into the game with a 19th minute penalty through Dai Langdon. Six minutes to half time and Neath drew level through a scything run from Gareth King, the full back returning for only his third start since a long term injury.
Langdon dragged the conversion wide against the wind but his side were now dominant, Cardiff's Macauley Cook then yellow carded for coming in at the side when Neath looked certain to score.
The home support did not have long to wait for a try as under a gaggle of Black shirts, Marc Jones, who was dominant in the scrum and also around the loose all day, appeared with the ball in his grasp. Langdon missed from the left this time but Neath still held a respectable 13-8 half time lead.
At the start of the second half, Luc Jones was yellow carded for what was deemed a tackle in the air. Neath repelled the visitor's pressure, but were undone on 66 minutes, as Jamie Davies powered over from close range. Tovey converted, giving the away team a sniff of victory and a 13-15 lead.
A raft of changes then followed and on 70 minutes, Dai Langdon spotted a gap on the Neath left, put a deft chip over and the bounce favoured the man from Abertillary as he cantered home to dab down and give Neath a sniff of victory.
With four minutes to go though, Neath transgressed just outside their own 22 and there was no way a regional No 10 was going to pass up an opportunity for easy points, Tovey planting the ball through the sticks for a hard fought, but fair 18-18 draw.