Cross Keys have been relegated from the Principality Premiership after a 43-24 loss to Newport on Saturday, April 20.
With 15 minutes to go, the Keys were leading 24-12 and aiming to secure a bonus-point win, but instead conceded five unanswered tries late on.
The defeat at Rodney Parade condemns the club, which is in financial difficulty, to the Welsh Championship next season.
Cross Keys winger Rory Budina opened the scoring with a 20th minute try, which was converted by the boot of Jacob Botica.
Minutes later, the Keys were awarded a penalty, which they kicked to the corner.
As a ruck formed, flanker Chris Johnsey picked up and found space to dive in for the Keys’ second try of the game. Botica added the extras again to give Cross Keys a 14-0 lead after 23 minutes.
On the stroke of half time, Newport pulled one back when the ball was passed out wide to winger Elliot Frewen who raced in for a try.
The conversion was missed, giving the Keys a nine-point lead going into half-time.
But almost immediately after the restart, Frewen scored Newport’s second try of the game.
Geraint O’Driscoll converted to cut the deficit down to just two points.
In the 53rd minute, Keys centre Tiaan Loots burst through Newport’s defence before being brought down by Jonny Morris.
Cross Keys kept hold of the ball, getting it out wide to Budina, who dashed through for his second try of the game, and Cross Keys’ third. Botica’s conversion extended the lead to 21-12.
On the hour mark, Botica slotted a penalty between the posts to increase the lead to 12 points as his side hunted for a fourth try and a bonus-point win.
But Newport had other ideas. With 16 minute left to play, centre Chay Smith crossed over for Newport’s third try of the game.
O’Driscoll’s conversion brought the scores back to within five points.
Two minutes later, O’Driscoll scored a try, securing a four-try bonus point for Newport to level the scores.
He then converted his own try to give Newport a lead for the first time in the game.
Moments later, substitute Matthew Reed scored Newport’s fifth try, with O’Driscoll adding two extra points.
But Newport didn’t stop there. In the 71st minute, fullback Jonathan Morris scored try number six as the Black and Ambers took a 14-point lead.
With momentum completely against them, Any hopes of Cross Keys maintaining their Principality Premiership status had vanished.
In the 77th minute, more salt was rubbed in the gaping Cross Keys wounds when substitute Reed scored Newport’s fifth try in the space of 13 minutes.
The try rounded off a catastrophic end to the game, which sees the Keys relegated.
On Wednesday, May 1, Cross Keys take on relegation-threatened Bridgend at Brewery Field.