Lewis Hudd of Bedwas steps past Pontypridd's Adam Thomas
Pontypridd moved level on points with Carmarthen Quins at the top of the Principality Premiership after a 34-15 win away at Bedwas on Saturday morning.
Three tries in the last quarter proved enough to win it for the visitors but the encounter was a lot closer than the final score line suggested. Nonetheless, it was another statement of intent from the defending champions who have won six and drawn one of their seven games so far this season.
It was Bedwas who notched the first points of the game, Harley Thompson kicking a penalty before debutant Glen Lewis crossed for a well worked score.
Dai Flanagan reduced the deficit for Pontypridd and although it was Bedwas who were on top, they were struggling to convert their pressure into points. And when Flanagan kicked two more penalties before the break, Bedwas went into the interval behind.
It wasn't long before the home side were back ahead though, Rory Budina giving Bedwas the dream start to the second half with a try under the posts, Thompson again converting.
Pontypridd hit back with two more penalties from Flanagan but when the home side were forced into a couple of changes due to injury, the visitors struck. Second row Craig Locke and full back Adam Thomas crossed for two quick scores with the relentless Flanagan converting both efforts. The two tries took the wind from the Bedwas sails and replacement Lloyd Williams made certain of the victory with Pontypridd's third try.
In the other fixture to take place, Aberavon earned a vital 27-23 win over Bridgend in a game of two halves.
A horrendous first 40 minutes from the Ravens saw them ship three first half tries. Ex-Bridgend Athletic full back Jonny Phillips sliced through for the home side's first try before Ieuan Davies and Richard Carter put the Port Talbot side well ahead as the half time whistle sounded.
Bridgend's only impact on the scoreboard had come through the boot of James Dixon but in the second half, they fought back to claim a losing bonus point as Aberavon failed to score in the second half.
Bridgend dominated possession and territory with Luke Morgan's converted try getting the Ravens back into things. With the wind in their sails, Bridgend launched one final attack and were rewarded when Lloyd Evans broke the line and offloaded to Tom Grabham who crossed the whitewash.
Dixon kicked another successful conversion but it was not enough to stop Jason Hyatt from securing his first win as Aberavon coach.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series