Cross Keys took the honours in this vital clash at Pandy Park on Friday
evening. The Keys forwards paved the way to a win that keeps Keys in 4th
place in the Principality Premiership table and pushes back Llanelli
slightly, although they did manage to grab a losing bonus point.
Llanelli opened the scoring inside the opening 5 minutes when full back Dion Jones kicked his side in front with a penalty. Dorian Jones responded for Keys by slotting over a neat drop goal after 8 minutes of play, with Keys starting to take control in the tricky conditions.
Keys were soon in front when Dorian Jones kicked a penalty following a good period of pressure from Keys, with the pack in-particularly starting to thrive at the set-piece. It stayed that way for the remainder of the first half with neither side able to find the cutting edge.
Half Time Score Cross Keys 6 Llanelli 3
Dorian Jones pushed Keys further ahead despite the strong wind that Keys were now playing in to, with a 2nd penalty after 5 minutes of the second half. Keys went close to crossing for a try as the second half went on but both Danny Hodge and Nathan Trowbridge were both hauled down close to the line.
Dorian Jones kicked his second drop goal of the evening after almost an hour of play and this of course meant that Keys had pulled clear of the visitors, who would now need to score twice to pull their way back in to the game.
Dorian Jones kicked his third penalty of the game with around 15 minutes remaining and it looked as though The Keys would close the game out successfully. Llanelli crossed for the first, and only try of the game with just over 10 minutes remaining when flanker Duane Eager crossed under the sticks for a converted try which would ensure a tense ending to what had been a game that lacked any real drama.
Keys held on to claim a vital win and stop a minor slump following the defeats at Moseley and Bedwas. This was far from a vintage performance but will have done wonders in boosting Keys' confidence prior to a return to Bedwas in the Swalec Cup this coming Saturday. The Keys pack was much like it's old self after seeming to take a mid-season break in the games at Moseley and Bedwas.
Cross Keys Scorer:-
Penalties: Dorian Jones (x3)
Drop Goals: Dorian Jones (x2)
Try: Duane Eager
Conversion: Dion Jones
Penalty: Dion Jones
Keys Man of the Match: Darren Hughes