The Whites came through a titanic battle at Pandy Park to reach the summit of the Principality Premiership. A second successive hat trick by winger Hanno Dirksen inspired Swansea to a hard fought win in a match where his side were often second best.
The home side threatened early on when a quick tap penalty saw Carl Pocock and Rob Nash come close before a forward pass brought an end to the move. When Rhodri Wells dropped the ball under no pressure Dirksen tracked back but was penalised for holding on after the tackle. Gareth David slotted over the penalty goal to take his side into the lead.
Two minutes later an outstanding run by Nicky Thomas was supported by Dirksen who was held up just a metre short of the line. Swansea recycled possession and Andrew Joy came close before David Watts drew in a tackler to send Dirksen over for a try. James Dixon failed to convert. Dixon gifted Jevon Groves a try by throwing a wild pass near his own line that was gratefully intercepted by the number eight. David converted.
The Whites started to throw the ball about and put together some impressive moves. Short passing between Wells, Marc Popham, Sam Kiley and Ben Lewis almost sent Lee May over but he was tackled just short of the line. Nicky Thomas lost the flight of the ball in the sun, and with David on the prowl, Leigh Bevan did well to clear his line. On the stroke of half time a superb break by Dirksen, which was supported by Watts, forced Cross Keys to kill the ball. Ben Watkins was duly shown a yellow card by referee Chris Williams.
Half time:- Cross Keys 10 Swansea 5
Nathan Trowbridge threatened on the wing after Wells lost possession but Marc Popham managed to get back and clear. Offside in defence by the home side earned Swansea a penalty from which Dixon made no mistake.
Keys came close to scoring in the corner after Ryan Lee burst through the middle with Nash in support only for the flanker's pass to sail over the touchline. Swansea retook the lead after 65 minutes when Wells used his pace out wide to find Dirksen who wrongfooted David to run in to score. Dixon converted.
Hands in the ruck by the visitors gave Cross Keys a penalty from which David cut the gap to just two points. Dixon restored the five point cushion with a penalty of his own after the home defence crept offside in midfield.
Dirksen looked to have sealed victory when he picked up loose possession to score under the posts after a powerful drive by Tim Evans put the Cross Keys defence on the backfoot. Dixon converted. To their credit the home side refused to give up and grabbed a try of their own three minutes later after James Leadbeater made the hard yards to send Dai Langdon in for a try which David converted. It was to be a difficult last few minutes for the All Whites after David Blyth was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on when Langdon and Leadbeater linked up again. However they managed to ride out the storm to clinch victory.
Cross Keys have now finished their league campaign and travel to north Wales for a club match against newly formed Gogledd Cymru 1404 while next up for Swansea is a final league match, at home to Cardiff.
Full time:- Cross Keys 20 Swansea 25
Venue:- Pandy Park, Cross Keys
Weather:- Sunny, 17C
Competition:- Principality Premiership
Referee:- Chris Williams
Cross Keys scorers:- David (2 Pens, 2 Cons), Groves (Try), Langdon (Try)
Swansea scorers:- Dirksen (3 Tries), Dixon (2 Pens, 2 Cons)
Man of the match:- Hanno Dirksen
Swansea team:- 15 N Thomas 14 H Dirksen 13 A Thomas (rep: R Williams) 12 D Watts 11 L Bevan (rep: N Jones) 10 J Dixon 9 R Wells (rep: A Lewis) 1 L May 2 A Joy (rep: O Phillips) 3 R Jones (rep: T Evans) 4 C McInerney (rep: P Arnold) 5 S Kiley 6 L Jones 7 B Lewis (rep: D Blyth) 8 M Popham