Cross Keys suffered a heavy Principality Premiership defeat to league leaders Merthyr RFC on Saturday, March 30.
The Keys fell 53-28 but scored four tries in a pulsating match to earn a bonus point at Pandy Park.
Merthyr flanker Jake Thomas opened the scoring with an eighth minute try.
However, the hosts took the lead three minutes later when No8 Garin Price crossed over the line.
Outside-half Jacob Botica converted to give the Keys a slender 7-5 advantage.
But the lead swapped hands when Merthyr centre Adam Thomas scored his side’s second try.
Richard Powell’s conversion put Merthyr 12-7 in front.
Matthew Dwyer scored Merthyr’s third try moments later as the title chasers took a ten point lead.
Winger Harry Davies scored the fourth try to secure a bonus point for Merthyr. Powell missed the conversion but Merthyr’s lead was extended to 15 points.
On the cusp of half time, Davies scored again, but Powell missed the conversion once more and Merthyr went into the break leading 27-7.
Cross Keys started the second half brightly, scoring their second try in the 46th minute through hooker Ellis Shipp.
New Zealander Botica was successful with the conversion.
Four minutes later, Merthyr scored try number six when Adam Hoskins crashed over for a try.
But Merthyr missed yet another conversion, this time it was fullback Josh Martin who missed the target.
But the league leaders extended their lead even further with replacement Sam Evans scoring his side’s seventh try of the game.
Merthyr substitute Gareth Davies made no mistake with the conversion as Merthyr took a commanding 39-14 lead.
But just two minutes later, Cross Keys scored their third try when winger Carwyn Penny crossed over.
Botica made it three kicks out of three with the conversion, with the hosts now searching for a fourth try and a bonus point.
Merthyr were next on the scoreboard however, with Harry Davies completing his hat-trick in the 67th minute.
Gareth Davies was on target with the conversion as the visitors were all but victors.
But despite the win being beyond the Keys, they still battled for the four-try bonus point and achieved just that when replacement Chris Johnsey crossed over the line.
Botica converted once again but Merthyr still held a 46-28 lead.
The game was wrapped up when James Howe scored Merthyr’s ninth try.
Gareth Davies kicked his third conversion and the game finished 53-28 to Merthyr.
Cross Keys are now ten points from safety with six games left to play.
The Keys travel to Port Talbot to play mid-table Aberavon at 2.30pm on Saturday, April 6 as they look to retain their Principality Premiership status for another year.