DESPITE taking an early lead at the Talbot Athletic Ground, Cross Keys' relegation worries intensified as they were thoroughly outplayed by the Wizards, with the Gwent side conceding more than 50 points for the third game running, writes Peter Hughes.

Keys might have opened the scoring when an unsuccessful interception attempt by Aberavon centre Frankie Jones left a gap in their defensive line which Leon Andrews made full use of.

Unfortunately, wing Wes Cunliffe was unable to hang on to what could have been a try-scoring pass.

Their hosts gifted them a try soon afterwards, however, when a wild pass from Aberavon centre Joe Gage was hacked forward by number eight Garin Price who followed up to touch down under the posts.

Aberavon struck back, exposing Keys' defensive weaknesses that enabled the full-back Chris Banfield to score.

Keys regained the lead through a 19th-minute Jacob Botica penalty, but as the game entered its second quarter, Aberavon began to enjoy a territorial advantage and their second try came courtesy of scrum-half Iwan Temblett.

As the game approached the interval, the Keys pack was unable to withstand the opposing eight and referee Simon Rees awarded the hosts a penalty try, while Temblett scored his second try of the day to secure a bonus point for Aberavon who led 26-10 at the break.

Aberavon were immediately on the offensive following the restart and from a tap and go penalty five metres out, flanker Joe Tomalin-Reeves eventually claimed the try, before wing Stef Andrews notched his side’s sixth try less than two minutes later.

A lack of discipline cost Keys dearly and a yellow card for second row Tom Lampard saw them down to 14 men.

Aberavon quickly followed that with a try for flanker Jac Morgan and they completed their half-century soon after the hour mark with a try for replacement centre Will Price, who saw yellow soon after for a high tackle.

Keys could take some solace from a late consolation try for replacement scrum-half Dan Babos but they left the Talbot Athletic Ground pointless.

Aberavon: C Banfield; S Andrews, J Gage (W Price 59), R James (S Pearce 64), F Jones; J Garland (capt), I Temblett (D Prichard 64); R Jenkins, L Davies (I Davies 64), C Davies (J Thomas 64), R Hughes, S Williams (B Thomas 55), J Morgan, J Tomalin-Reeves, A Waite (L Purnell 50).

Scorers: Tries - C Banfield, I Temblett (2), Pen, J Tomalin-Reeves, S Andrews, J Morgan, W Price; Cons - J Garland (5)

Cross Keys: L Andrews (capt); W Cunliffe, S Majkic, T Loots, I Burgwin (C Nichols 67); J Botica, J Guy (D Babos 47) (O Leonard 80); R Cornock, R Jenkins (E Shipp 40), S Hoskins (D Suter 40), S Andrews, T Lampard (J Carlin 64), C Johnsey (E Hopkins 47), J Thomas, G Price.

Scorers: Tries - G Price, D Babos; Con - J Botica; Pen - J Botica

Referee: Simon Rees (WRU)

Argus star man: Garin Price