CROSS Keys were left with no points for a second successive Friday night despite their hard work against an impressive Pontypridd, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.

This defeat also gave their opponents a psychological edge ahead of their National Cup clash at Pandy Park on January 6.

Keys defended heroically and kept themselves in the game until the dying stages, but it was all in vain.

The visitors dominated the opening exchanges but it was the home side who struck first when wing Matthew Powell won the foot race from a kick ahead to hack on and pick up for a breakaway try from deep.

Outside-half Corey Sheppard’s conversion made it 7-0 after 14 minutes.

Ponty continued to get the better of things, but Keys’ defence was immense and turned over the Sardis Road men on several occasions as they seemed poised break down their resistance.

The visitors finally broke down the hosts’ door when wing Lewis Williams crossed all too easily for an unconverted touchdown with the last move of the first half after a series of scrum fives.

Keys led 7-5 after an entertaining first half.

The second 40 minutes started pretty much as the opening one had ended.

Ponty continued to put the home side under huge pressure and they finally took the lead for the first time after 57 minutes when fly-half Diggy Bird slotted over a penalty.

The visitors were finding it hard to put the defiant hosts away as they kept threatening to hit them with another sucker punch try.

A second Bird penalty gave Ponty some breathing space at 11-7 with a quarter of an hour to go.

They finally put the game beyond doubt when openside flanker Rhys Shellard crossed with just over five minutes to go.

Cross Keys scorers: Try: M Powell, Con: C Sheppard Pontypridd scorers: Tries: L Williams, R Shellard, Pens: D Bird (2)