Steelmen's comeback falls short
TATA Steel and Bonymaen both fell to narrow defeats in the Swalec Championship on Saturday.
The fifth-placed Steelmen went down 26-21 at home to Bridgend Athletic after having trailed 21-3 at one point, while Bonymaen were edged out 21-20 at Pontypool.
Wing Jon Phillips, flanker Robert Hill and No. 8 Robbie Morgan crossed for tries for Tata and Gareth Walters landed two penalties, but it wasn't quite enough.
Bonymaen's defeat leaves them in 11th place, two places and a whopping 13 points above second-from-bottom Pooler.
Flanker Dan Joseph (2) and wing Nathan Brookes got the Swansea side's tries, and Richard Cunniffe added a conversion and a penalty.
Loughor produced a gallant performance but were unable to stop Tondu's march to the division one west title.
Home side Tondu won 44-26 at Pandy Park, despite Loughor leading 19-6 at one stage in the first half.
Loughor, who are second from bottom, scored four tries through centre Andrew Banfield (2), prop Dan George and replacement hooker Nick O'Kelly. Scrum-half Tom Davies converted three of them.
Cwmllynfell in second place are 18 points behind Tondu but do have three games in hand on them after they won 26-24 at Kenfig Hill. Cwm led 19-12 at the interval.
They crossed for two tries via fly-half Craig Jones and wing Trystan Lewis, and full-back Peter Thomas converted both and also kicked four penalties.
And Waunarlwydd in third spot also kept up the pressure — only just — with a 24-19 home win against lowly Skewen.
Waun led 18-9 at the break but the visitors edged the second half.
Wing Alan Pope and flanker Guy Jones crossed for the hosts and scrum-half Lee Evans added four penalties and a conversion.
Wing Mark Harvey got Skewen's only try and centre James Ball landed four penalties and a conversion.
Carmarthen Athletic maintained fourth position in one west with an 11-try 69-3 win over bottom team Aberavon Quins.
Early tries from centre Viv Jenkins and wing Rhys Schiavone laid the foundation, and further tries from Schiavone, wing Adam Davies, prop Jeavon Sebastian, full-back Mike Sauro, hooker Simon O'Leary, fly-half Jack Wilson and five conversions from Scott Maynard gave the Athletic a 50-point lead at the interval.
Though there were early second-half tries from Mike Sauro, centre Rhys Jones and flanker Luke Owen, the visitors' performance became lacklustre and the accuracy and precision of the first half faded away, and the Quins battled valiantly throughout.
Kidwelly saw off Glynneath 22-12, and Ammanford hammered Llangennech 46-3.
Ammanford wing Gary Stephens claimed the only try of the first half, with fly-half Rhydian Morris kicking the conversion and a penalty.
But in the second half Ammanford ran in try after try via flanker Llyr Morris, lock Jake Simm, man of the match scrum-half Gareth Rees, debut-making prop Dexter Thomas, replacement scrum-half Johnny Evans, back from a long- term injury, and a superb long-distance solo effort by Simm. Morris converted three of them.