Cross Keys continued their excellent run of form as they defeated Bargoed at Pandy Park last Saturday in Tier 2 of the Principality Premiership.
After a fairly level opening 15 minutes or so, Keys gradually got themselves on top where their dominance at the set-piece was starting to become vital to Keys’ game plan. After winning a string of penalties in the scrum Keys looked to play deep in Bargoed territory but were not clinical enough when it mattered and a number of early chances went begging for the home side.
The first score of the game eventually came after around 25 minutes when a pair of perfectly weighted chip kicks through from Keys outside half Josh Prosser, against his old side saw Keys create good field position. The first kick forward was gathered by Keys number 8 Ieuan Jones on the Bargoed 22. Jones, together with scrum half Owain Leonard recycled the ball quickly from the ruck to find Prosser who chipped through again and his perfect kick was gathered by Nathan Trowbridge who pounced on the ball, in front of the scoreboard to cross for Keys’ first try of the day. Prosser failed to add the touchline conversion.
Josh Prosser added a penalty around 5 minutes before half time as Keys went in to the break well in control but as previously stated were perhaps guilty of not being clinical enough on the attack.
Half time Score Cross Keys 8 Bargoed 0
The Keys got the second half off to perfect start when Ieuan Jones crossed for Keys second try inside the opening 2 minutes of the half. Keys attacked almost immediately from the kick off and moved the ball quickly from one side of the pitch to the other. The ball was moved out wide and Lewis Barnett made an initial break in to the Bulls 22 before he offloaded to the supporting Ieuan Jones who showed a quick turn of pace and using his considerable power finished brilliantly in the corner. Josh Prosser this time added the most difficult of conversions from the touchline.
As if Bargoed weren’t struggling enough at scrum time their cause certainly wasn’t helped when after just under 50 minutes of play they had loose head prop Jack Williams sent to the sin bin when carried the can for yet another scrum offence by his side. To their credit Bargoed coped well for the next 10 minutes and Keys couldn’t breakthrough despite having a one man advantage.
Keys crossed for their third try just under 5 minutes from time when another Keys attack around the Bulls 22 eventually led to Barney Nightingale breaking clear to score under the posts, thanks largely to a well-executed pass inside from Leon Andrews and Keys were finally rewarded after a long period of pressure. Josh Prosser kicking the conversion from in front of the posts.
The visitors were reduced to 14 men as the game entered added time when former Keys youth winger Duane Dyer was shown a straight red card for apparently using foul and abusive language toward the referee.
Overall a relatively comfortable win for Keys where they were again always in control. Yet another tremendous defensive effort from the Keys, who have now gone over 280 minutes of rugby without conceding a try.
Cross Keys Scorers:-
Tries: Nathan Trowbridge, Ieuan Jones & Barney Nightingale
Conversions: Josh Prosser (x2)
Penalty: Josh Prosser
Keys Man of the Match: Richard Cornock