CROSS Keys gave departing head coach Greg Woods the perfect send-off with a tense WRU National Cup victory over old foes Pontypridd at Pandy Park.

Woods, who joining Ebbw Vale, will have enjoyed watching his side get the better of the Sardis Road outfit as he bids farewell to the club after more than 15 years’ service.

Keys crossed for two tries, both through Josh Skinner, with Josh Prosser adding a further 11 points with the boot.

Chris Dicomidis and Joe Page registered tries for Pontypridd, who beat Keys in the semi-finals of last season’s competition, with Ceri Sweeney and Diggy Bird adding a three points apiece through kicks.

The home side opened the scoring when Prosser landed a brace of early penalties to make it 6-0 after 11 minutes.

Keys added to their lead with a try through flanker Skinner just before the end of the opening quarter.

The flanker picked up a loose Ponty ball to run in from inside his own half. Prosser’s conversion made it 13-0.

With the game approaching the half-hour mark, Ponty registered their first points of the game.

Keys were pinged at a maul and after Sweeney had kicked to the corner, the away side crossed from short range thanks to Dicomidis.

The visitors then cut Keys’ lead again with a penalty from Sweeney, but the last word of the half went to the home side and Prosser with the fly-half slotting a simple penalty to make it 16-8.

Pontypridd began the second half on the front foot and were rewarded with a second try through Page after just three minutes.

That was a rare moment of excitement in a half that suffered for being played on a quickly deteriorating pitch.

Pontypridd levelled the contest with 12 minutes to go thanks to a Bird penalty.

However, that was quickly cancelled out by a second try from Skinner to make it 21-16 with less than 10 minutes left.

Keys saw out the remaining minutes to seal the victory and dump Pontypridd out of the cup at the first hurdle.

Scorers: Cross Keys – Tries: J Skinner (2); Con: J Prosser; Pens: J Prosser (3)

Pontypridd – Tries: C Dicomidis, J Page; Pens: C Sweeney, D Bird

Cross Keys: L Andrews; M Powell, L Barnett, P Williams, B Nightingale (N Trowbridge 47); J Prosser, J Leadbeater; G Carpenter (C Hewlett 68), D Hughes, R Cornock, T Lampard, D Mock (L Davies 64), J Skinner, S Matthews (capt), A Powell.

Reps not used: R Jones, L Smout, L Dyckhoff, C Shephard, O Leonard

Pontypridd: D Stuckey; L Williams, G Walsh, D Lockyer (capt), A Webber; C Sweeney (D Bird 55), J Raikes; H Owen (J Popple 68), J Page, K Marney (L Leddington 58), S Moore, C Dicomidis, M Sieniawski, R Shellard, H Barnes (R Morgan 63).

Reps not used: J Rees, G Williams, W Haly, S Edwards

Cross Keys star man: Josh Skinner