EBBW Vale could repeat their WRU National Cup victory out west after being hit by a Carmarthen Quins second half comeback in the Principality Premiership.

The Steelmen travelled with the hope of a second success at Carmarthen Park this year after edging a knockout thriller 20-19 in January.

Victory would have seen them climb to third in the table, above Llandovery while the Drovers were in semi-final action, and stretch further clear of Newport in the bid to be Gwent’s top team ahead of the Black and Ambers' Sunday clash with Pontypridd.

Ebbw led 13-10 at the break but left without anything to show for their toil after Quins scored 16 points – with former Dragons fly-half Aled Thomas an influential figure at full-back – before conceding a consolation try at the death.

The Steelmen started well and went into the lead when fly-half Rhys Jones started where he had left off in the thrilling win against Newport at Rodney Parade by slotting an early drop goal.

Thomas responded with a penalty before fly-half Jac Wilson went through for a seven-pointer after half an hour.

Ebbw were level on the stroke of half-time when Dragons winger Dafydd Howells went over for a try and they got their noses in front when Jones added to his conversion by slotting a penalty to make it 13-10.

Thomas levelled seven minutes after the restart and then tighthead prop Javan Sebastian crossed with half an hour left to put the Quins 20-13 up.

The game was getting away from Ebbw and two more penalties from the former Dragon put the hosts clear going into the final quarter.

Replacement scrum-half Dai Jones gave the Steelmen hope with an effort with 10 minutes left that made it 26-18 but Greg Woods’ men couldn’t muster another score to earn a consolation bonus.

Ebbw have four games remaining this season and will look to push for a high finish with a trio of home games coming up against a trio of teams at the wrong end of the table – Bargoed on Saturday then Bedwas and bottom club Neath.

The Steelmen could then have a big say in the title when they end the campaign at the Arms Park against second-placed Cardiff, who are two points behind leaders Merthyr.

Ebbw Vale: D Haymond, D Howells, D Franchi, D Langdon, P Kings, R Jones, S Ireland, R Jones, R Francis, R Sevenoaks, K Parker, A Sweet (captain), R Clarke, L Evans, C Regan. Replacements: J Franchi, L Garrett, M Davies, L Young, D Rubasniak, D Jones, A Owen, S Thomas.

Scorers: tries – D Howells, D Jones; conversion – R Jones; penalty – D Jones; drop goal – R Jones