CROSS KEYS were jumping for joy after becoming the first Welsh team to reach the final of the British and Irish Cup with an heroic semi-final triumph at Pandy Park.
Backs coach and former Wales international Mark Ring beamed: “I keep looking at the score-board and I can’t believe it.
“But we deserved to win that game. We played all of the rugby and showed magnificent commitment. The boys deserve all the credit they are going to get for that effort.”
The semi-professionals of the Gwent village club had to dig deep for success against the full-timers of English Championship club Cornish Pirates.
Keys were the far more dangerous team with right-wing Kristian Baller grabbing both of their tries following superb approach work.
Dangerous Dragons outside-half Steffan Jones converted both and kicked two penalties to book a shoot-out with Munster A, who beat Leinster A on Friday night, in Ireland on April 28.
It kept Keys’ bid for an extra-ordinary treble – they are riding high in the Principality Premiership and they face Ebbw Vale in the semi-finals of the Swalec Cup next Saturday – on track.
Keys had billed the British and Irish clash with former holders Pirates as one of the most important matches in their 127-year history.
The commitment to the cause was exceptional with captain and flanker Rob Nash everywhere during an all-action display.
Pirates lacked ideas and failed to take advantage of the slope on the Pandy Park pitch, playing into Keys hands by attempting to run from deep.