The battle for the lead in SWALEC Division 1 East turned white hot in round five as league leaders UWIC were given a thorough test at Ystrad Rhondda while Llanharan and Rumney fought a titanic tussle for the lesser places.
The UWIC students took their unbeaten record to Ystrad and got stuck in the mud in a game that remained scoreless until the second half. The tries finally flowed after the break, with Daniel John crossing for the home side and Richard de Carpentiere scoring for the visitors.
But it was the boot of Simon Humberstone that proved the difference.in the end as he converted the UWIC try and added a penalty to give his side a 10-5 win. That extended the students’ unbeaten run to five games and extended their lead at the top as second placed Llanharan were beaten at home.
The visit of third placed Rumney to Llanharan was always going to be the game of the day in the division and in an action packed 80 minutes the Cardiff club were able to come out on top by a single point, 23-22.
Both sides conjured up three tries, with home wing Arwel Davies celebrating his 400th game with a touch down, but in the end it was Rumney outside half Danny Clark’s two penalties and a conversion that topped opposite number Codey Rees’ two conversions and a penalty.
The intensity of the occasion saw the referee issue six yellow cards and also show a red to Rumney’s try scoring lock Joe Mills. Victory for Rumeny allowed them to overtake Llanharan in second place.
At the bottom of the table Beddau finally broke their duck as they hung on to beat Tredegar 23-22. Scot Edwards, Dean Barnes, Liam Thomas and Christian Mundy scored the home tries and Steve Robinson’s penalty proved crucial in the end.
There was also a try bonus for Blackwood at Caerphilly, where they ran in five tries in a 43-20 triumph, while 14 points from the boot of Steffan Jones steered Bargoed to a 24-17 home win over Merthyr.
In Division 1 West, Felinfoel’s fantastic league run finally came to an end at Bonymaen, where the home team ran out 26-15 victors. Having marched unbeaten to the Division 2 west title last season Felinfoel had won four out of four in their current campaign before travelling to Bonymaen.
They started well enough, leading 15-10 at the break thanks to tries from win Dan Gravell and full back Justin Lewis and five points from the boot of Jason Davies, but then fell foul of a home revival in the second half. No 8 Alan Powell and scrum half Stuart Allen were the home try scorers and Ian Brooks kicked 16 points to move them into second place.
Carmarthen Athletic made the most of Felinfoel’s misfortune as they became the fifth successive side to lower the colours of newcomers Bridgend, winning 21-16 at home. There was at least another losing bonus point to comfort the Ravens, but that elusive first win can’t come soon enough for the former Premiership outfit. Wing Mark Davies and centre Steve Davies scored the home tries and Leighton McKenna kicked 11 points.
Whitland maintained their push for the top with a seven try rout of Builth Wells, finally winning 43-13, while second half tries from No 8 Dan Apsee and lock Sean Williams earned Bridgend Athletic a 15-8 home win over Cwmllynfell.