Cross Keys are a club that have played a big part in my own development as I played a lot of my youth rugby there so the fixture had extra meaning for me especially with friends and family watching.
They are also a club that history shows love this competition having previously been runners-up, taking some very notable Championship scalps like Moseley and Cornish Pirates.
They came out of the blocks very quickly and caught us napping on Saturday. Before we knew it, we were four mins in 10-0 down with another 36 mins of playing up the infamous Pandy Park slope to come.
Thankfully the boys hit their straps before anymore damage was done and turned a 10-0 deficit into a 20-15 half time lead.
After a few momentary defensive lapses in concentration in the early stages of the second half, we were behind again. However, our never-say-die attitude shone through and we stuck to our guns, keeping the ball well.
We managed to tire them and work into what proved to be an unassailable 37-25 winning position.
Keys obviously didn’t read the script and pegged us back making it a very nervous last few minutes but ultimately we prevailed and got the win.
On a personal note, I was happy with my performance. The scrum asserted itself giving the fast boys outside a chance to play and I was involved in a fair bit of play in the loose in both attack and defence.
It was a particularly memorable day for me as my little girl was also there watching.
We’re very pleased with the five-point win as I’ve a feeling the other two teams in our group (Cornish Pirates and Bedford Blues) could find this place a potential banana skin.