Caerphilly .... 30 Glasgow Caley Reds .... 34

REDS skipper Andy Nicol admitted to mixed emotions after his side's jittery victory over the spirited Cheesemen at Virginia Park on Saturday. On one hand, he was understandably delighted to pick up four crucial away Celtic League points, but on the other he was disappointed that the winning margin was not as stark as it could and should have been.

Caley looked destined to rattle up a cricket score in conditions more suited to the white flannel game, but they took the collective foot off the pedal and allowed the home side to claim four second-half tries.

Nicol stated: ''A win is a win, but we really should have put them away before the interval. We had enough ball and created enough chances to do that, but we lacked composure.

''We've not done too well as a team since the turn of the year. We've had some really poor results and some poor performances. But we've got six matches left now to put our season back on track.

''We've relaunched our league campaign and it will be a big push to the end of the programme.''

Coach Richie Dixon echoed Nicol's view and declared: ''It was very scrappy.

''The ground was extremely hard. In fact, if it hadn't been raked beforehand it would have been dangerous. We should have had it sewn up in the first 20 minutes, but we were over anxious.

''We were also rusty as a team and I was trying out different combinations.

''We were a mixture of players who had recently been with various national sides and guys who have had very little rugby.

''We were always in front and the physical effort was first class. It was good to dog it out and win the game. We were obviously the better side and it was just unfortunate the last little touch let us down.

''We are together now until the end of the season, with no distractions, and we now turn our focus to Friday when we have a massive game against Swansea at Hughenden.

The baking conditions, dry surface and an obvious desire to run enabled the Reds to put their hosts under early pressure and within three minutes, Tommy Hayes was gifted a penalty to break the deadlock.

Caley kept up the pressure and stretched their lead in 10 minutes after Caerphilly had held on for fully 90 seconds on their own line. Lock Stewart Campbell celebrated a rare try that Hayes converted from close in.

The Cheesemen, who had conceded 49 tries in their previous five games, were leaking like a sieve behind the scrum and the Reds were looking an odds on certainty to complete the double.

However, it was Caerphilly who should have scored next. Scrum half Chris Bridges took the ball on the burst and when Chester Robinson latched onto a flat pass he should have finished decisively.

Only fine cover defence kept him out and Caley got out of jail thanks to Hayes.

Glasgow were the next to miss out. Great work from the forwards took them to the Caerphilly line, but John Petrie was unable to scramble over.

The score that they merited finally came on the half-hour mark. Gordon Simpson started a sweeping move involving backs and forwards in his own half and after Hayes had helped his pack into the Caerphilly 22, Simpson was on hand to dive in at the corner.

On the stroke of half time, Chris John snapped up a penalty chance for the home side, but it looked as if nothing was going to put Caley off their stride.

The Caerphilly revival began when prop Mike Wilson went over, but Reds were not to be outdone - not immediately at any rate.

Rowen Shepherd was the architect of most of their moves and he scored after slick work by Hayes and Simpson - then repeated the dose, Hayes converting the second effort.

Caerphilly were certainly not dead, and two tries, first from John and then from flanker Ben Watkins after a wonderful solo break from Jonathan Hooper, brought them to within nine points.

However, just as the home crowd were stirring, Simpson pounced on an error from Hooper to stroll over the line for Hayes to convert and ease the jitters.

However, Chester Robinson snatched a double to give the Cheesemen the last word and make it too close for comfort for the Reds.

Caerphilly - J Hooper; C Robinson, R Boobyer, D Hawkins, S Marshall;

C John (L Richards, 55), C Bridges;

M Bolton, J Hughes (T Carless, 63),

M Wilson, N Jones (capt), A Evans

(J Loughor, 54 mins), B Watkins,

A Davies (G Jones, 67), C Brown

(D Niblo, 70).

Glasgow Caley - B Irving; A Bulloch, I Jardine, R Shepherd (J Stuart, 61 mins), J Craig; T Hayes, A Nicol (capt); D Hilton, G Scott, G McIwham, S Campbell,

D Burns (G Flockhart, 58), J White,

G Simpson, J Petrie.

Scorers - Caerphilly - Tries -

Wilson, John, Watkins, Robinson (2). Penalties - John. Conversion - Richards Glasgow Caley - Tries - Campbell,

Simpson (2), Shepherd (2). Conversions - Hayes (3). Penalty - Hayes.

Scoring sequence - 0-3, 0-10, 0-15,

3-15, 3-20, 3-27 (HT), 8-27, 15-27,

20-27, 20-34, 25-34, 30-34.