An ill-disciplined Cross Keys side have lost their final Principality Premiership game of the season.
The Keys, who had five players sent to the sin bin, were beaten 24-5 by Pontypridd at Pandy Park on Wednesday, May 8.
The visitors, fresh from a win over Bargoed, scored four tries to earn a bonus-point win.
With the game still scoreless after 22 minutes, Cross Keys hooker Nathan Huish became the first player to be sent to sidelines.
Minutes later, the visitors took advantage and scored a try through Alex Webber, who scored twice against Bargoed in Pontypridd’s previous game.
Former Wales-international Ceri Sweeney added the conversion before Keys prop Richard Cornock was shown a yellow card, momentarily leaving the Keys with just 13 men before Huish returned to the field.
The score stayed 7-0 for the rest of the first half.
A minute into the second half, Keys No8 Ieuan Jones scored to give the hosts hope of getting something from the game.
However, Iwan Burgwin missed the conversion, meaning the Keys still trailed, albeit narrowly.
Around ten minutes later, scrum-half Joshua Guy became the third Keys player to be sin binned – reducing the side to 14 men again.
Minutes later, Pontypridd extended their lead when fullback Dale Stuckey scored. Sweeney scored the conversion to give his side a 14-5 lead.
Keys centre Corey Nicholls was then immediately shown a yellow card to reduce the hosts to 13 men for a second time in the game, five minutes after Guy’s sending off.
But as Guy was coming back onto the field, Keys prop Scott Hoskins became the fifth Keys man to get sent off, keeping them down to 13 men.
During this time, Pontypridd scored another try, with Sweeney the man to cross the line.
Despite Nicholls returning to the field in the 67th minute, Pontypridd still had an extra player on the field and made the most of it when replacement Gabriel Davies scored the fourth try in the 68th minute to complete the scoring.
The Keys’ season is now over and they finish in the relegation zone with 36 points.
Thank you @welshpremrugby @WelshRugbyUnion for having us . The smallest village side in the @welshpremrugby is about to be come the smallest village side in the Championship . Looking forward to good times #keyskeyskeys
— Cross Keys RFC (@crosskeysrfc) May 9, 2019
If Bargoed fail to beat Cardiff on Saturday, May 11, Cross Keys will remain in 14th place, but a draw would be enough to see Bargoed climb above the Keys.
Meanwhile, Pontypridd host Bridgend on May 11 in a game that will have a huge implications on Bedwas’ hopes of avoiding relegation.