IT was heartbreak on the road for RGC in their last-gasp 28-24 defeat at Principality Premiership champions Merthyr.

The Gogs’ produced a display full of fighting spirit before eventually succumbing to intense pressure in the closing stages, with the home side securing the top crown as a result for the third year in succession.

Despite the eventual result it was the visitors that opened the game on the front foot and they went ahead early on when Rhys Williams rounded off a fine team move to go over for the first try of the contest after just two minutes. Billy McBryde added the extras.

Things got even better for the away side soon after when Evan Yardley found a gap in the Merthyr rearguard to cross the white wash for a try that was converted by McBryde, but the hosts responded swiftly with a score of their own courtesy of Louis Jones.

Mathew Jarvis brought them to within seven with the extras, but winger Sam Jones continued his exceptional run of recent form with another blistering try towards the end of the first half, and a McBryde conversion gave the Gogs’ a 14-point advantage at the interval.

After the break saw the home side come out with a renewed sense of purpose, and they were rewarded for their improved tempo when Arron Pinches dotted over for a score that was converted by Jarvis.

This was swiftly followed by another for the home side, with Jones touching down for his second of the evening after good work from Pinches. Jarvis added the extras to tie things up.

Mark Jones’ men withstood a heavy onslaught midway through the half in front of the BBC Scrum V cameras, but they held firm and went ahead once again on 69 minutes when McBryde drilled over a penalty following an infringement.

There was still time for further drama as the defending champions sealed another title in the dying moments when Matthew Dwyer powered his way over for a converted try to round off the scoring.