CROSS Keys’ season trickled to an end with an indisciplined 24-5 home defeat to Pontypridd, writes Ian Golden.

It was Keys’ 13th loss in a row, the losing run going back to January following wins over Neath and Bargoed, and their loyal fans will now breathe a sigh of relief and will wait for their side to regroup for the Championship in the autumn.

Keys had leaked 144 points in the previous two games but on this occasion, they were surprisingly solid. If it wasn’t for their five yellow cards, the scoreline could have been closer.

Pontypridd thought they’d taken an early lead, but Dale Stuckey had a try ruled out for a forward pass, and they only actually scored after Keys’ Nathan Huish was given the first yellow card of the evening. Taking advantage of the extra man, Alex Webber scored under the sticks and Ceri Sweeney converted.

A second Keys yellow however, this one for Richard Cornock, didn’t lead to another Pontypridd try and the visitors went into the break 7-0 ahead.

Keys struck back exactly a minute into the second half, Ieuan Jones running through to score with Iwan Burgwin’s goal attempt hitting the post.

Joshua Guy was the recipient of Keys’ third yellow of the night and this time Pontypridd did reap the benefits as Dale Stuckey ran through with Sweeney converting.

Corey Nicholls became yellow card number four after he high tackled Stuckey when the full-back was diving over, so Keys were now down to 13-men.

As soon as Guy came back on, Scott Hoskins was awarded Keys’ fifth yellow of the night and Sweeney ran over for Pontypridd’s third.

A Gabe Davies try secured their bonus point with 12 minutes to go to complete the uninspiring win.

Cross Keys: C Poole, R Budina, C Nicholls, S Williams, L Dawes (J Adams 60), I Burgwin, J Guy (O Leonard 69), R Cornock (M Hutchings 69), N Huish, S Hoskins (J Rogers 77), T Lampard, S Andrews, C Francis (J Rogers 40, C Francis 42, D Welch 52), C Johnsey (G Carpenter 23, C Johnsey 32), I Jones (A Price 74).

Tries: I Jones

Pontypridd: D Stuckey, A Webber, G Williams, D Lockyer (G Davies 40), C Howells, C Sweeney (L Williams 66), J Raikes (S Tilley 61), H Owen (C Lewis 72), H Dowden (R Jones 64), J Elley (O Ford 72), S Smallman, L Evans, R Jones (S Jenkins 65), S Edwards, M Sieniawski.

Tries: A Webber, D Stuckey, C Sweeney, G Davies. Conversions: C Sweeney (2)

Cross Keys star man: Chris Johnsey