WELSH professional rugby may have been tearing itself apart at the seams for months, but the traditional values of the game are still alive and kicking lower down the leagues.

In the traditional rugby heartlands of the Gwent valleys, two local clubs are enjoying seasons of remarkable success.

Cross Keys, who have been this area's leading rugby club for a few seasons, will be in the Swalec Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium for the second time in three years.

They will take on Pontypridd, who they beat to win the cup in 2012, after a dramatic semi-final victory over Llandovery at the weekend.

And Keys will be joined in the Premiership next season by Ebbw Vale, who have already been crowned Championship winners, and are on course to complete the season with a remarkable 100 per cent record of winning every league game.

While the Newport Gwent Dragons region has been locked in dispute with the Welsh Rugby Union - thankfully now resolved - the likes of Keys and the Steelmen have been flying the flag for rugby in this area.

Today we toast their success, which is particularly welcome as the performances of the Dragons become more depressing as the season draws to its close.

With the likes of Pontypool doing their utmost on and off the field to revive the glory days, it may just be that rugby in Gwent is entering another golden era.