GREG Woods believes his Ebbw Vale side is still in the running to capture this season’s Principality Premiership title.

The Steelmen are fourth in the table, some 15 points adrift of reigning champions and current leaders Merthyr.

However, of the nine fixtures Woods’ men have left to play, three are against the teams directly above them.

The first of those is tonight when third-placed Pontypridd, seven points better off than Ebbw, visit Eugene Cross Park (kick-off 7.10pm).

Next Friday sees the Steelmen travel to the Wern in Merthyr for another huge showdown with last term’s double winners.

Cardiff, sitting second, 10 points in front of Ebbw, make the trip to Gwent on the final day of the league season.

Looking ahead to the Pontypridd clash, head coach Woods said: “It’s a big game. We know what’s at stake for us – we must win to stay in the title race.

“We’re still in it. We’ve got to play the top three and that means a potential 15 points up for grabs, and the others might slip up along the way as well.

“We lost in Swansea a few weeks ago but we’ve had a great run and been fairly consistent throughout the season.

“I’ve said to the boys that we’ve got to stay in the hunt and keep challenging, and I could feel a really good atmosphere at training on Tuesday night, so the players are up for it.”

He added: “We have done well in big games this season and we’ve got to use home advantage against a quality Pontypridd side.

“We’re coming to the crunch part of the season and we don’t want it to peter out, we want to be involved in big games.”

Pontypridd were 24-19 winners when the sides met at Sardis Road last October.

Elsewhere, Bargoed go to Aberavon tomorrow (kick-off 2.30pm) in desperate need of points as they try to pull off an unlikely escape act.