Cross Keys make a welcome return to league action, for the first time since the 48-0 hammering of Swansea at the end of November, on Thursday evening for a festive derby against local rivals Newport at Pandy Park.
The Black and Ambers' did return to league action last weekend when they hosted Cardiff at a rain-drenched Rodney Parade last Friday evening. The game resulting in a 6 all draw in a game that matched the dour conditions. Newport had former Keys fly half, Scott Sneddon to thank for their points with 2 penalty kicks whilst Will Thomas (not the former Keys skipper!) struck a penalty and a drop goal for the visitors.
Keys, of course have already hosted Newport this season in the British & Irish cup in October when Newport triumphed by 24-20. In truth that result meant nothing more than local bragging rights as it is unlikely either side will qualify from the group with Newcastle trouncing basically everyone in their site. The Black and Ambers visited Kingston Park 2 weeks ago and were torn apart by the Falcons 93 - 0 whilst Keys, in an equally one sided encounter faired slightly better with the Falcons winning by 52 points to 5.
We of course heard of the awful news of Keys' Jamie Sollis being involved in a car crash in the early hours of last Thursday morning in Cardiff. Jamie is still extremely poorly in hospital but the situation is improving as the days go on and on Christmas eve Jamie was bought out of sedation and is continuing to respond well to treatment. Keys of course are continually thinking of Jamie and his family in this difficult time and will be doing everything in their power to win this derby for him.
The Cross Keys team is as follows:-
15. Gareth David
14. Kristian Baller
13. Leon Andrews
12. Luke Williams
11. Nathan Trowbridge
10. Steffan Jones
9. Ryan James
1. Richard Cornock
2. Gerwyn Price
3. Anthony Lott
4. Danny Hodge
5. Ollie Hodge
6. Tom Lampard
7. Rob Nash (c)
8. Adam Powell
Replacements: James Johnstone, Garry Horrigan, Craig Gould, Sean Higgins, Scott Matthews, Rhys Dyer, Dorian Jones, Nathan Williams.
Newport team: 15. Geraint O'Driscoll 14. Elliot Frewen 13. Dan Robinson 12. Adam Davies 11. Alan Awcock 10. Scott Sneddon 9. James Leadbeater
1. Dai Pattison 2. Andrew Brown 3. Gethin Robinson (c) 4. Rhodri Jones 5. Adam Frampton 6. Craig Everett 7. Craig Atwell 8. Brendan Lampitt.
Replacements: Dale Rogers, Tim Ryan, Dafydd Rosser, Lance Randall, Tom Hancock, Owen Broad, Rhys Downes, Jamie Jeune.
Venue: Pandy Park, Cross Keys
Date: 27th December 2012
Kick Off: 7.15pm
Referee: James Jones Touch Judges: Kelvin Shorte & Gareth John.