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.
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.