Bedwas scored six tries to get their season underway with a bonus-point 41-9 win over Cross Keys at the Bridgefield.
Following relegation from the top tier of Welsh rugby last season, both teams squared up on the opening weekend as they began life in the WRU Championship.
The Keys drew first blood, taking a 3-0 lead through Kieran Hill’s early penalty.
The visitors then doubled their lead in the 15th minute through another Hill penalty.
Bedwas hit back immediately when flanker Owen Jones, who was awarded Man of the Match, charged down a clearance and dived in for a try.
Dion McIntosh missed the first of several failed conversion attempts, denying the hosts the chance to take the lead.
But after 28 minutes, Cross Keys surrendered the lead for the first time in the game as Bedwas winger Alec Jones scored a try, putting Bedwas 10-6 ahead.
The Keys, having fallen behind, were dealt another blow soon after when prop Richard Cornock was shown a yellow card for a ruck offence.
With an extra man advantage for the next ten minutes, Bedwas attacked the visiting defence.
Scrum-half Rory Harries set up centre Matthew Williams, who lost control of the ball as he crossed the line, with referee Elfyn Morris-Roberts disallowing the try.
Cross Keys managed to get themselves on the scoreboard once more in the 39th minute, with Hill scoring another penalty despite the numerical disadvantage.
But it was Bedwas who had the final say in the first half, with winger Jones grabbing his second try of the game on the cusp of half time.
McIntosh missed a third conversion but Bedwas went into the break with a 15-9 lead.
Shortly after play resumed, McIntosh put his kicking woes behind him, kicking a penalty to extend Bedwas’ lead to 18-9.
In the 48th minute, Craig Hudd scored the hosts’ fourth try and secured a bonus point.
Minutes later, Bedwas scored again when Jordan Rees charged down the left wing to increase the lead to 28-9. McIntosh’s accuracy was off once again, denying Bedwas two extra points.
The lead could have been extended further, but Owen Jones knocked the ball on as he broke past the try line.
With just under ten minutes left to play, fullback James Hallett took over the kicking duties from substituted McIntosh, and added three extra points from the kicking tee, increasing the deficit to 22 points.
Tempers flared with several minutes of the game remaining as Keys prop Scott Hoskins was sin binned for a high tackle, with Hallett scored the ensuing penalty.
As the Keys scrum disintegrated, Bedwas were awarded a penalty try, sealing a 41-9 opening weekend victory.
Both sides will now turn their attentions to the WRU National Cup on Saturday, September 14.
Bedwas play Tata Steel away from home, while the Keys will be looking to bounce back away to Glamorgan Wanderers.
Report and imagery courtesy of Ian Lovell.