THERE were two reasons for Bala to be cheerful on their travels.

Not only did they see off Gwynedd rivals Caernarfon in WRU League Division One (North) action, but they also made progress in a knockout competition.

That's because the match acted as a double header, as it was also a Conwy Land Rover North Wales Cup tie.

It turned out to be a tense affair from start to finish.

Caernarfon could claim to have had the better of the possession and territory, but Bala's defence was superb over the course of the 80 minutes and only once did the visitors manage to breach it.

Bala opened the contest brightly and they were able to keep possession well.

This early pressure would tell after 10 minutes when Owain Aled slotted over a penalty after a scrum had been wheeled.

Iolo Hughes and Adam Thomas responded on behalf of the Cofis, but the sound Bala defence could not be breached.

Bala centre Ilan Jones then showed a terrific turn of pace on two occasions to bemuse the home defence, with the second break leading to good field position for the hosts.

From this, slick passing by second row Robin Owen led to prop Alwyn Dylan ploughing over in the corner to record his first ever senior try for Bala after 20 minutes.

Caernarfon were given something to cheer when Dafydd Lloyd Williams broke through midfield and was able to feed wing Iolo Hughes, who raced clear to score out wide just before half-an-hour had elapsed.

The remaining minutes of the half saw both sides striving to gain the ascendancy, but play became scrappy with little composure evident.

Even so, Bala could have secured themselves a comfortable cushion had a crossing call not denied them a try near the posts.

However, they did gain a further three points from the boot of Owain Aled when a ball was adjudged to have been kicked from a ruck.

Caernarfon looked to respond with Iolo Hughes attempting to force his way over at the last play of the first period.

The Cofis were facing the slope during the second 40 minutes and their task became more difficult as Bala pressed forward from the off.

Constant pressure finally brought reward when a good offload brought full back Miall Roberts onto the ball at pace and at an angle that split the static defence for him to score a fine individual try.

This was duly converted by Owain Aled to stretch Bala's advantage to 13 points.

Caernarfon rose to the challenge for a brief period following the setback, but they were duly met by very stubborn resistance in both tight and open play.

Liam Leung carried well and others attempted manfully to cross the gain line.

Although stalwart Ilan Rowlands had to leave the field for the home side, Iestyn Dylan immediately stepped up to the mark to help form a watertight rearguard.

When the Cofis finally crossed the try line, the melee that then ensued prevented any grounding of the ball.

A number of players could have been presented with the Conwy Land Rover man of the match accolade, but for the most creative and impressive gain line breaks and metres gained, it was rightly handed to Bala centre Ilan Jones.