NEWPORT were on the wrong end of a thriller in Colwyn Bay to conclude their Principality Premiership campaign, writes Dean Jones.

The Black and Ambers went ahead courtesy of a penalty from Matt O’Brien on nine minutes, and the same player despatched another free-kick on ten to pull the away side further clear during a dominant early spell of possession.

The Gogs produced a neat passage of play that resulted in Danny Cross touching down after 20 minutes. Jacob Botica despatched the conversion, but this provoked a strong response from the visitors, who regained the advantage on 31 when Joe Bartlett powered over. O’Brien added the extras.

RGC continued to press and dotted over after 33 minutes through Tiaan Loots, who was playing his final game for the club before his summer move to the Dragons.

Botica, who will also be making a move to the Dragons after the season, fired over the conversion, and they extended their advantage on 36 minutes courtesy of a sensational individual try from full-back Dion Jones, with the New Zealander adding the extras before O’Brien reduced the arrears with a penalty on 39 just before the break.

A frantic start to the second period saw O’Brien fire over another penalty on 41 minutes, but this was met by another try from the hosts through Afon Bagshaw after 43. Botica nailed the extras.

This trend continued with Elliot Frewen crossing the whitewash for the visitors on 46 minutes that was converted by O’Brien, but once again the Gogs responded well with Loots notching his second of the game after 54. Botica added the conversion.

The visitors hit back when Owen Davies crashed over on 70 minutes, with O’Brien successful with the conversion attempt, and the fly-half stroked over a penalty on 78 minutes to put them ahead.

Mark Jones’ side restored their narrow cushion when Botica fired over his first free-kick of the afternoon on 80 minutes, and they secured their win when Iolo Evans went over on 85 after Bartlett and O’Brien both received yellow cards after a series of infringements.

RGC: J Scott (C Reynolds 50), E Yardley, C Connelly (J Scott 67), B Jones, R Williams, M Parry (A Taylor 40), W Bryan, T Grey, A Schwartz (C Davies 72), J Botica, I Evans, D Cross, T Loots, A Bagshaw, D Jones.

Scorers: Tries: D Cross, T Loots (2), D Jones, A Bagshaw, I Evans; Cons: J Botica (5); Pen: J Botica

Newport: J Lavender, H Palmer (W Evans 60), G Harris (T Piper (68), J Bartlett, D Partridge, M Burgess, R Jenkins (D Stead 45), A Everett, R James (O Davies 47), M O’Brien, E Frewen, T Pascoe, C Smith, J Morris, G O’Driscoll.

Scorers: Tries: J Bartlett, E Frewen, O Davies; Cons: M O’Brien (3); Pens: M O’Brien (5)

Newport star man: Matt O’ Brien