CROSS Keys produced a solid defensive display to consolidate third spot in the Premiership table tonight with an excellent Bridge Field victory over Bedwas.

They quickly erased the memories of their Swalec Cup exit at the hands of Neath to secure most of the early possession and took the lead after 19 minutes through a try by scrum-half Ryan James which Dean Gunter converted.

Gunter was subsequently sin-binned for an infringement at a breakdown but Bedwas, who started the night in second spot four points ahead of Keys, could not take advantage of the extra man to score.

Bedwas started the second-half looking much stronger but the Keys defence held firm and twice thwarted attempts by centre Ross Wardle to force his way over the visitors line.

Keys increased their lead on 52 minutes through a Dorian Jones penalty before Bedwas finally opened their account through a penalty by Dragons fly-half Lewis Robling.

Jones bagged another penalty to restore the Keys’ 10-point advantage but Bedwas battled hard and secured a losing bonus point when, following considerable pressure, centre Scott Williams crossed after a scrum. Robling failed with the conversion attempt.

Bedwas still had time to launch another attack but were unable to breach their opponents line and a victory for the Gwent side was a fair result.

Bedwas are now just one point ahead of Keys with Llandovery, Llanelli and Carmarthen Quins chasing hard.

Bedwas scorers: Try – S Williams; penalty – L Robling.

Cross Keys scorers: try – R Jamesl conversion – D Gunter; penalties – D Jones (2)