Ebbw Vale's unbeaten home league record for the season disappeared, as they came unstuck against a battle hardened and streetwise Cross Keys who deservedly won this Gwent derby.
The Steelmen were not at the races in the first half and were 2nd best at the breakdown and lineout. In fact they were lucky to go in for the halftime cuppa trailing only by 8 points to 10, thanks to a try against the run of play via some fine handling, finished off by Ryan Gardner.
The game was seemingly over when Keys dominance turned into second half points, which yielded a 26-8 lead. At this point, it all looked over for Ebbw, but substitutions gave the lackluster home side some much needed fire, which resulted in another try for Ryan Gardner and one for Chris Leversley.
This gave Ebbw late hope of a victory from the jaws of defeat, but it was not to be. Ebbw will need to improve their lineouts when Ashley Sweet is absent and regain their abrasiveness at the breakdown, starting with a visit to Llanelli next Saturday.