IN the big relegation battle at Bridge Field on Saturday, Bedwas edged out Cross Keys 20-15 to put a dent into Keys’ survival hopes, writes Ian Golden.

With both teams fighting to stay out of the dreaded bottom five, and with just eight games left for Keys, seven for Bedwas, this result may be crucial at the end of the season.

It was the second of three home games for Bedwas, all against relegation threatened clubs. They have Llanelli next week, with matches against Bridgend and Neath still to come.

But it’s all looking a bit more gloomy for Keys whose chances of survival are getting slimmer by the week.

They’ve a very tough run-in, with just one more match against a fellow struggler - when they visit Llanelli in three weeks - and it’ll take a big improvement in form for them to stay up.

A fifth minute penalty kick from Carwyn Penny gave Keys first blood. Joseph Scrivens had the opportunity to level it up four minutes later, but his close range penalty sailed past the left post. He made up for that in the 14th minute when the score finally did click onto 3-3.

Keys responded by scoring the first try of the day. Soccer-style, Iwan Burgwin booted the ball upfield, dribbled it round a couple of Bedwas players, before leaping onto it as it crossed the whitewash. Penny converted.

The visitors were temporarily reduced to 14 men after Dylan Fidler was sinbinned and Bedwas took full advantage, Jonathan Armitage opening up a gap for Luke Crane for the half-back to score under the sticks. Scrivens easily converted to level it up to 10-10 at the break.

Bedwas took the lead for the first time in the game after just three second half minutes. Jordan Rees did well on the wing to slip through a couple of the Keys back-line to dive over in the corner. Scrivens converted well to put the score up to 17-10 but failed to add a penalty to further increase the gap.

Keys struck back with 11 minutes remaining. Dylan Fidler did well to dive over in the corner. Penny sliced the conversion wide and Bedwas still led by two points.

A Scrivens penalty with three minutes to go increased the gap to five, which was enough to secure a Bedwas win.

BEDWAS: J Scrivens; J Rees, T Hoppe, C Edwards (Teear-Bourge 68), A Williams; J Chilcott (D McIntosh 71), L Crane (R Harries 68); B Toms (R Hutcherson 77), A Rees, R James (S Cochrane 77); G Allen (J Davies 46), C Hudd, J Richards, J Armitage, N Hudd (D Rogers 36).

Tries: L Crane, J Rees. Conversions: J Scrivens (2). Penalties: J Scrivens

CROSS KEYS : C Penny; R Budina, T Loots, D Fidler, M Williams (W Cunliffe 56); I Burgwin (O Leonard 77), J Guy; T Hansen (R Cornock 62), R Jenkins, N Thomas; D Welch, S Andrews (T Lampard 68), E Hopkins, G Price, I Jones.

Tries: I Burgwin, D Fidler. Conversions: C Penny. Penalties: C Penny