Cardiff finally got back to winning ways with a convincing victory at Pandy Park. The home side were pushing for a place in the top four, but entertained Cardiff on the back of two defeats (in the Cup semi-final when they were flattered by the 42-37 score-line) and a heavy defeat (59-14) to Neath at the Gnoll. Cardiff, without a league victory since December 3rd, were keen to turn things around and move away from bottom position in the table.
It was the visitors that played the better in the opening period with Joey Tomlinson opening the scoring after only seven minutes. Jarrod Evans just failed with the conversion but was on target 10 minutes later to convert Tomlinson’s second try, the hooker sneaking over against a sleepy Keys defence. Cardiff were showing a determination in defence that has been missing of late and repelled Cross Keys attacking moves. The only chances the home side were given were penalties from distance and Prosser was unable to take advantage of the first of these. He found his range just before half time, however, and brought the home side some hope. Cardiff quickly quashed any hopes of a comeback before the break, when with the last move of the half a delighted Will Rees-Hole dived over in the corner – Evans’ excellent conversion giving the Blue & Blacks a pleasing 19-3 lead at the interval.
After the break the home side had more of the territory but were unable to break the visiting defence until Barney Nightingale forced his way over midway through the half. Prosser converted to bring the score closer, but that was as good as it got for Cross Keys. A serious looking ankle injury to Jarrod Evans ended the outside half’s afternoon, but this gave the opportunity for young Ben Thomas to get his first league experience as replacement (his previous first team appearance was at a very wet Gnoll in the Fosters Cup in December). The youngster showed his potential with an accomplished display slotting two penalties – the second a huge kick from near half way. The icing on the cake for Blue & Black supporters was a rare try (probably his last for the club) by Johnathan Edwards – reward for all the hard, often unseen, work he has put in over his career at the Arms Park – to secure a bonus point win. The final act of the game was a third successful penalty by Ben Thomas.