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.
Whenever Bedlinog tackle Penallta a massive fixure is guaranteed but this Sunday there will be even more emphasis placed on the two rivals when they contest the SSE Swalec Plate final at Principality Stadium.
Ahead of their SSE SWALEC Bowl Final clash with Taffs Well at Principality Stadium on Sunday, Burry Port share their #FABXV nomination with WRUTV in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers. Everyone can get involved by sending nominations via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins and Ospreys centre Ben John look ahead to the first game at Principality Stadium in Saturday's double header which is promising to be a special occasion for all Welsh fans.
Carmarthen Quins Director of Rugby Ian Jones and committee member Jeff Thomas along with Llandovery chairman Handel Davies look ahead to Sunday's SSE SWALEC Cup showdown where both teams are out to prove 'West is best'
SWALEC ambassador Shane WIlliams is looking forward to Sunday's Finals Day where the Cup, Bowl and Plate offers a great opportunity for players and teams to experience the magic of playing at Principality Stadium
Carmarthen Quins coach Richard Kelly believes it is an exciting time to be part of the Scarlets region as his side take on local rivals Llandovery in the SSE Swalec Cup final on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers