The rugby club was formed in 1885 but did not achieve first class status until 1909 after winning the Monmouthshire League three times. By 1920 the club had their first player, Steve Morris, representing Wales and others were then to follow including Toby Faletau and Lloyd Burns. Like so many other Gwent clubs, Cross Keys found themselves in dire financial trouble in the 20’s. They requested help from the WRU but financial aid was not forthcoming. Instead the WRU sent a Welsh National side to PandyPark for an exhibition match. The home side won 13 -8 and the sell-out crowd assured the club of a future.
Cross Keys have never had the glory days of some of the Welsh Clubs but again we see the trend in many East Wales sides that they feel that they have always been thought of as an unfashionable side and that they have been badly represented at the National level. They did win the Club Championship of Wales in 1922 and 1936.
Cross Keys were a part of the Welsh-Scottish League in 2000-01 and then, after two years in Division 1, regained their position in the Premiership in 2003-04 where they have remained ever since with a best position of 6th. achieved several times. Season 2011/12 has proven to be their best season yet being runners up to Munster A in the B&I Cup and beating Pontypridd 32-19 in the final of the Swalec Cup.
The record between our two clubs is a strange one. Up until 2010 the two clubs had met at the Park six times and The Quins had won all six, once by a margin of 42-3. At the same time the record at Pandy Park was played seven (including a Cup Match in 2003-04) and The Keys had won all seven. Then for the last two seasons the trend has been reversed with the away side being victorious.
This year Cross Keys have begun the season well lying just above us in fourth place after losing narrowly to Bedwas last week. It should be a good contest in the Park on Saturday.
Quins Record v. Cross Keys
Played 16 Won 8 Lost 8 (also lost once in the Cup)
Reporter – Keith Bond