Cardiff's Ashley Sweet drives on as Bedwas' Robert Carter(L) & Jamie Jones make the tackles
SWALEC Division One West leaders Tonmawr gave cup kings Llanelli a real run for their money before finally bowing out of the SWALEC Cup at the quarter-final stage.
But it took a late try by Chris Keenan, converted by the superb Steve Shingler, to seal the 26-16 victory for the Scarlets at the Memorial Ground. They were 13-10 down at the break and had to fight all the way to hold the pumped-up home side.
Tonmawr were given a taste of what life could be like in the Premier Division next season and they can be proud of their performance.
"Llanelli are a class side and they showed their cup credentials," said coach Jason Hyatt.
Carmarthen Quins had beaten Glamorgan Wanderers 9-6 in the league at the Memorial Ground this season but their 31-26 cup success in Cardiff was a surprise victory.
The only disappointment for Quins was the way they allowed the Wanderers to come back into the game after taking a 31-12 lead.
"We made problems for ourselves in leaking two tries in as many minutes but overall it was an excellent team performance," said Quins team manager Steffan Thomas.
"Our set piece play was was superior throughout and the scrum was also a key area in the victory."
Cardiff built up a big lead at the Bridge Field against Bedwas only to concede three tries to the home side before edging home 34-24. It was the Blue and Blacks second visit to Bedwas in a week after being beaten 21-17 in the Premier Division.
"We had Cardiff on the ropes after the break and were just seven points adrift but we only have ourselves to blame for not reaching our first SWALEC Cup semi-final," said Bedwas coach Steve Law.
Cardiff made many changes from the side that lost the league match to Bedwas and they raced into a 24-5 lead by the interval. When Cardiff flanker Jake Thomas was sin-binned with the score at 31-24 it looked odds-on for a Bedwas victory but Cardiff rallied to force a late penalty and seal victory.
Aberavon led Pontypridd 13-9 at the interval but with Ponty not having been beaten in a Welsh Cup match at Sardis Road since 2001, a second half rally was expected. It came with such force that Ponty ended up destroying the Wizards, 41-16.
The visitors were not helped by a series of misdemeanours which saw Aberavon forwards Darryl Thomas and Marc Breeze yellow-carded before Breeze was red-carded on the touch judge's advice. Paul Breeze then joined Thomas in the sin bin for dissent and Ponty took full advantage.
Ponty team manager Richard Langmead admitted his side had been poor in the opening period.
"We were terrible in the first half and a few home truths were said at the break, but we upped the tempo after that and kept our discipline."
Kenfig Hill stormed their way into the semi-finals with a surprise six try victory over Two East side Brynmawr.
The Mules were always too strong for their visitors and touchdowns by Lee Williams, Ray Evans, Rhodri Clark, Thomas Maund, Mark Fitzgerald and a penalty try kept the scoreboard ticking over at regular intervals.
Lougher already had a big Two West victory over Aberystwyth at home this season and they confirmed their superiority with a convincing 38-19 away success at Plascrug.
In the battle of the Two East sides at Cae Fardre, Llantwit Fardre edged out Rhydyfelin 23-17 with the kicking of Steve James proving crucial.
He converted both tries by Ben Lee and Geraint Lewis and added three penalties to boot his side into the semi-finals.
Maesteg had a tricky visit to Waunarlwydd to overcome having lost at Roseland Road earlier in the league season while only drawing their other league meeting at home. Typically, it was a close encounter before the Old Parish won through narrowly, 16-14.
Trebanos made the long trip north to Bethesda worthwhile but it needed a strong second half performance to put them into the semi-finals.
The Two North side had proved their equal in the opening period which ended with a 6-6 scoreline, but the Five South West outfit cut loose in the second half to roar into the semis with a 33-6 success.
Four East side Abercarn were made to work hard against Bridgend Sports before beating the Five South Central team 13-9.
Pontardawe of Four South West travelled to Risca of Four East and won 27-22 while in the other quarter-final, Senghenydd made home advantage count by beating Birchgrove 17-11.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.