Cross Keys suffered another defeat on Thursday evening at St. Helens as Swansea claimed another victory which must surely guarantee their place in the Principality Premiership, whilst Keys find themselves still in the midst of trouble with time running out to climb away from the danger zone in the Principality Premiership table.
The first half saw Swansea dominate for large periods but some well organised defensive work from Keys, together with some unforced errors and poor decision making from the Whites ensured that the only score for the opening 30 minutes which the home side dominated was a successul penalty in the 10th minute by Whites outside half Steffen Williams. The penalty was awarded after Keys’ scrum half Owain Leonard was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on in front of the posts on the Keys 22.
The Keys finally had some meaningful possession and field position as the game passed the half an hour and almost immediately, the Keys made this possession count. A series of penalties around the Whites in Keys’ favour were kicked to the corner, with Keys securing possession each time on their own throw. Eventually Keys were able to move away from the lineout area and a number of carries edged them closer to the Whites try line. Keys then put width of their play and found space out wide with Carwyn Penny delivering the scoring pass to Leon Andrews who crashed over in the corner for the try. Jacob Botica failed to add the extras from the touchline with around 33 minutes on the clock.
The rest of the first half was fairly even with neither side finding a way through with solid defence the order of the day.
Half Time Score Swansea 3 Cross Keys 5
The Whites again seemed to have the edge in the opening stages of the second half with Keys struggling for possession and being forced to defend for long periods but the scoreboard remained unaffected for the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
The home side did score next after a good spell when following a quickly taken lineout around the halfway line they put themselves on the front foot and with Keys missing one too many tackles the Whites found their way through some gaps in the Keys’ defence which Whites centre Joe Thomas benefitted from to crash over under the posts for the first points of the second half with 22 minutes on the clock for the home side to lead once more. Replacement outside half Phil Jones added the straight forward conversion from in front of the posts.
With just under 10 minutes to go and with Swansea controlling the game well Keys were reduced to 14 men as number 8 Ieuan Jones was sent to the sin bin for ‘playing the 9’ at the base of a ruck. The Whites delivered a killer blow with just 2 minutes to go when they won a penalty at a scrum formed in front of the posts around the 22. Replacement Phil Jones kicked the resulting penalty and with it not only secured the victory for his side but also took away a losing bonus point from Keys.
Try: Joe Thomas
Conversion: Phil Jones
Penalties: Steffen Williams & Phil Jones
Cross Keys Scorer:-
Try: Leon Andrews