PRINCIPALITY PREMIERSHIP EAST
BARGOED ...................... 9 CROSSKEYS ................ 25
CROSSKEYS travelled to Bargoed looking to avenge their home defeat to the Bulls earlier in the season.
A bright start from the home side made for a competitive first half hour raising the crowd’s expectations but a disappointing second-half performance saw Bargoed slip to another defeat.
Former Bargoed favourite Josh Prosser put Keys ahead with a 12thminute penalty and opposite number Iain Smerdon replied to make it 3-3 after 15 minutes.
The Bulls played attractive rugby with backs and forwards handling well and they enjoyed territorial advantage for much of the first half hour but Crosskeys’ defence held out until Smerdon slotted another two penalties in the 36th and 38th minutes.
That was as good as it got for the home side and the tide turned just before half-time when Keys’ openside Taine Basham latched onto an offload with Bargoed trying to run the ball out of their own 22 instead of putting a welly to it. Prosser converted and Crosskeys took an unlikely 9-10 lead into the break.
The away side looked fired up from the start of the second half and denied Bargoed any territory or possession from the outset. Referee Adam Jones had already warned both sides about ruck infringements and Bargoed second row Matthew Thomas was the next culprit and off he went for 10 minutes to reflect on his misdemeanours. Prosser extended the lead from the resultant penalty to make it 9-13.
Crosskeys wing Matthew Powell took full advantage of the extra man to score in the corner to take the score to 9-18 on 58 minutes with Prosser’s conversion drifting wide and Keys wrapped it up with a Joe Goodchild try which Prosser converted to give Keys a comfortable margin with 10 minutes to go.
Bargoed enjoyed their best spell of the second half as the clock wound down but couldn’t break down a resolute Crosskeys defence and the game ended 9-25.
The Bulls’ coaches will have their work cut out this week as they prepare for a tough Friday night fixture against Cardiff at the Arms Park.