KIERAN Hill proved to be the hero for Cross Keys against Glamorgan Wanderers as his last-gasp kick sealed their place in the second round of the Specsavers National Cup, writes Jay Bayford.

The hosts were staring at a 15th consecutive defeat as the seconds ticked down at Pandy Park but Hill showed his composure to slot the ball between the posts following Ian Newbury’s match-saving try.

Keys made a promising start but a careless pass allowed Ray Bishop to touch down for the visitors. Scrum-half Paul Short added the extras.

The hosts went straight back on the attack and got their reward on 10 minutes with Hill knocking over a penalty. They went on to control possession and territory but failed to add points to the board.

Wanderers, on the other hand, showed their clinical edge when Will Adams-Jones burst down the left flank to claim his side’s second try. Short did not disappoint with the conversion.

It was looking like one of those days for Cross Keys with frequent handling errors and erratic passing holding them back. Another interception almost put Adams-Jones through for another try but the hosts managed to clear the danger with desperate defending.

Keys needed something to spark them into life and it came in the shape of a Corey Nicholls quick-fire brace. He showed quick feet to escape the clutches of several Wanderers players to go over midway through the first half. Winger Adams was the architect of his second with a mazy run that left him with the simple of task of crossing the whitewash. Hill added two points with his boot.

Wanderers made the unusual decision to stay on the pitch for the half-time interval and it seemed to have the desired effect as they asked most of the questions in the second half. Replacement Ioan Williams made the difference as his darting run freed up Phil Pariyo to bag a simple try. Short converted.

Keys responded well and piled on the pressure towards the end of the game. Wanderers almost kept them out but Newbury found a way through at the death and Hill’s conversion sealed a nail-biting success.

Cross Keys: L O’Brien, J Adams (I Newbury 50), A Tetley, C Nicholls, W Cunliffe, K Hill, A Bidgood, R Cornock, C Vaughan, J Rogers (O Peddle 61), T Lampard (capt), H Reader, M George, J Thomas, S Gibson (C Johnsey 54).

Scorers: Tries: C Nicholls (2), I Newbury; Cons: K Hill (2); Pen: K Hill.

Glamorgan Wanderers: J Loxton, R Bishop (P Pariyo 30), C Gibbon, R Beynon, W Adams-Jones, R Evans, P Short, R Lewis (D Watts 61), A Fowler (capt), A Deabreu, A Cox, R Matthew, L O’Sullivan (I Williams 41), D Apsee, L Kendall (G Reid 65).

Scorers: Tries: R Bishop, W Adams-Jones, P Pariyo; Cons: P Short (3).

Star man: Max George (Cross Keys).