Cross Keys are looking to start 2013 in perfect fashion when they host Llanelli at Pandy Park on Saturday in the Principality Premiership.
The visitors from West Wales head to Pandy Park in 3rd position, just a point ahead of 5th placed Keys so it promises to be an entertaining close-fought encounter.
Last Saturday Llanelli hosted Swansea at Parc y Scarlets, in one of the very few fixtures to actually take place in Wales on that weekend. Llanelli ran out narrow winners over their old rivals by 28 points to 24. Llanelli looked to be cruising to victory as they built up 25-9 lead shortly after half time, but the all whites scored 15 unanswered points in quick succession to ensure to tense ending but Llanelli sealed the win with a Owen Williams penalty in the closing stages.
Earlier in the season, at the end of September when Llanelli hosted Keys, Llanelli clinched the victory by 12 points to 6 in a match that didn't exactly set the world on fire. Llanelli outside half Jonny Lewis kicked 4 penalties for the home side whilst Dorian Jones and replacement Dean Gunter kicked a penalty apiece for the Keys. Hopefully Saturday's game will produce a fixture that will be easier on the eye than the previously mentioned game at Parc y Scarlets.
The Keys side for Saturday's game (which, incredibly is the last scheduled home league fixture until the final day of the season) shows 5 changes to the side that started last Thursday's excellent victory over Newport and is as follows:-
15. Steffan Jones
14. Luke Williams
13. Leon Andrews
12. Nathan Williams
11. Nathan Trowbridge
10. Dorian Jones
9. Rhys Dyer
1. Richard Cornock
2. Gerwyn Price
3. Craig Gould
4. Danny Hodge
5. Ollie Hodge
6. Tom Lampard
7. Rob Nash (c)
8. Adam Powell
Replacements from: Nathan Williams (Prop), James Johnstone, Anthony Lott, Garry Horrigan, Sean Higgins, Scott Matthews, Ryan James, Dean Gunter, Gareth David.
The Llanelli side includes former Keys favourite Lewis Rawlins and is as follows:-
15. Digy Bird 14. Dale Ford 13. Nic Reynolds 12. Jonny Lewis 11. Justin James 10. Owen Williams 9. Aled Davies
1 Shaun Hopkins 2 Craig Hawkins(C) 3 Aled Hopkins 4 Jake Ball 5 Joel Galley 6 Lewis Rawlins 7 Duane Eager 8 Stuart Leach
Replacements: 16 Tom Sloane 17 Greg George 18 Nathan White 19 Nathan Hart 20 Ryan Jones 21 Chris Keenan 22 Kyle Evans 23 Jamie Kaijaks
Cross Keys v Llanelli Principality Premiership
Venue: Pandy Park, Cross Keys
Date: 5th January 2013
Kick Off: 2.30pm
Referee: Greg Morgan