Newport trudged away from Pandy Park firmly believing that they had done enough to win this B&IC play-off qualification match. Many asked why the only yellow card handed out was to prop Dai Pattison for an offence on the half-way line. Penalties just kept coming for Cross Keys but Dragon's star Steffan Jones was somewhat outshone with the boot by Newport's Gareth Bowen who kicked 6 out of 7 attempts. One crucial turning point was in the 2nd half with Newport leading. They were for once awarded a penalty and scrum-half Jon Evans chose to run> He was tackled within 10 metres but instead of Keys receiving a yellow card and Newport given a very kickable penalty, referee Wayne Davies shocked Newport by awarding a scrum to Keys for a knock-on !
Newport did indeed lose a very poor match but had only theirselves to blame for being in the position of having to go to Pandy Park to win even allowing for a catastrophic injury list during the season. They had a superior playing record to Keys and just 2 more losing bonus points - which they squandered on more than one occasion during the season choosing to go for try scoring glory rather than a kick in front of the posts - would have given them 6th position and a home tie vs Keys - had Keys beaten Tonmawr in the play-off . The last time Keys played at Rodney Parade they were soundly beaten but this time at Pandy Park it was 3rd time lucky as they finally beat Newport .
Pictures courtesy of Simon Latham :