A WEEK after being knocked out of the WRU National Bowl at the semi-final stage Cardigan saw their hopes of claiming the League 3 West A Championship suffer a huge setback when going down to a 7-0 away defeat at the hands of leaders St Clears.
Having completed their fixtures, Saints are 14 points clear of their only rivals for the title who must bank five points from each of their remaining games at Milford Haven this Saturday and at home against Pembroke and Pembroke Dock Quins.
With only one club going up to Division Two West, the Cardigan promotion dream could end at the Observatory Ground on Saturday where gaining a bonus point appears a tall order.
In the corresponding encounter at King George V Playing Field earlier in the season the Cardis beat the Mariners 19-8 and emerged 16-6 winners at home in a National Bowl quarter-final tie in February.
In an encounter in which no questions were asked or given St Clears and Cardigan went at it hammer and tongs but the only scores were claimed by Saints during the second period.
After an even opening 40 minutes, the homesters got the all-important points when flanker Jake Iles crossed for a try and fullback Geraint Jones converted the score.
League 1 West mid-tablers Crymych sank to a 31-7 defeat at the hands of fourth-in-the-table Aberystwyth at Plascrug having lost 31-24 in the north Pembrokeshire village earlier in the season.
For Aber who held at 17-0 lead at the break there were tries for fullback Mathew Hughes, No. 8 Lee Evans, hooker Owain Bonsal and winger Jordan Thomas with outside half Steff Rees adding four conversions.
Lawrence Hedlam notched a try for the visitors with Rhys Davies converting.
Newcastle Emlyn are in fifth position in the Championship after a hard-earned 14-11 away win over Skewen who shared the spoils in a 3-3 draw at Ddol Wyber earlier in the season.
In extremely difficult underfoot conditions Emlyn overcame losing a few players to injury and defended bravely in the final quarter to secure victory.
For the visitors there was a try for winger Llyr Freeman and penalties from winger Daniel Davies (2) and fullback Shaun Leonard, the latter slotting over from 55 metres to put his side ahead.