Glagow Caley...........25 Swansea............28

The Reds were given another object lesson in the need to take their chances at Hughenden last night, as another Celtic League win was wrested from them by more ruthless Welsh opponents.

In a match which saw both sides score three tries, the greater accuracy of Welsh international stand-off Arwell Thomas was the principal difference between the sides, but the Reds had only themselves to blame once again.

''It is the story that has plagued us this season. Occasional lapses are letting other teams in,'' said Reds coach Richie Dixon.

''We could have and should have won but didn't deserve to, because we contributed mightily to the game, but also to our own downfall.''

Resolute defence and, for the most part, sound discipline from both sides were the main reasons for a scoreless first quarter.

The only clear-cut scoring opportunity in that period saw Thomas turn down an opportunity to go for goal when awarded a penalty deep in the Reds twenty-two.

Instead he opted for the tap and, when he managed to feed Tyrone Maullin and put him one on one with James Craig it looked a good decision with the burly lock firm favourite to force his way over, yet Craig did superbly to hold him up until the cavalry arrived to bundle him into touch.

As the game entered the second quarter Thomas did open the scoring with a penalty, but it was a brilliant break by his opposite number Tommy Hayes which finally opened things up and, having got clear he showed great composure to wait for Jon Petrie's supporting run and time the pass perfectly to let the No.8 cruise round behind the posts.

Swansea responded with a scrambled try after Alan Bulloch knocked on at halfway, repeated attempts to retrieve the situation failing before Andy Moore grabbed the loose ball to feed Garin Jenkins who drove over.

Hayes levelled the scores with the final kick of the half, however, and the Reds made an excellent start to the second half, but forcing passes cost them dear, as they twice knocked on deep in the Swansea twenty-two.

When Swansea finally cleared their lines a rare blunder by Glenn Metcalfe compounded those mistakes as he failed to throw the ball five metres in attempting to take a quick lineout to himself.

Rhodri Jones took the free kick quickly and Richard Rees came off the right wing on a wonderful angle, his pace taking him through Metcalfe's tackle and in under the posts.

Hayes reduced the deficit with a penalty, then almost from the re-start, Craig's pace opened up the visitors' defence again.

From his own twenty-two he raced into the Swansea half before chipping ahead.

As Lee Jones recovered the ball deep in his twenty-two he was swallowed up by three opponents and turned over possession, the ball being shifted rapidly right where Hayes found just enough room to fight his way over in the corner.

It was, though, the boot of Thomas which ultimately decided the game.

Sustained pressure earned him a penalty opportunity wide on the right which he put over and, after Hayes had missed a similar chance for the Reds, Thomas dropped a goal from 40 metres out, again close to the right touch-line.

Rowen Shepherd replaced Hayes and his first opportunity to make an impact came after Swansea replacement James Griffiths was yellow carded for killing the ball just outside their twenty-two, but he pulled his penalty attempt wide.

Swansea then rubbed salt into the wound.

Thomas miscued completely with an attempt to find touch, but the ball bounced perfectly for the on-rushing Rees to gather at pace on halfway. He then rounded Metcalfe to go over in the right corner for what proved to be the decisive score.

Ironically, Thomas missed his first place kick of the day with his conversion attempt, but his work had been done.

Agonisingly for the Reds they had some wonderful interplay by their midfield which let Petrie claim his second try as the match entered injury time. Shepherd's conversion left the scoreline tantalisingly close.

Glasgow Caledonian Reds - G Metcalfe; J Craig, A Bulloch, I Jardine, I McInroy; T Hayes (R Shepherd 71 min), A Nicol; D Hilton, G Scott, G McIlwham, D Burns (G Flockhart 66), S Campbell, J White, G Simpson, J Petrie.

Swansea-K Morgan; R Rees, M Taylor, S Gibbs, S Payne; A Thomas, Rhodri Jones; D Morris, G Jenkins (C Wells 71), B Evans, T Maullin (J Griffiths 61), A Moore, P Moriarty, D Thomas, L Jones.

Referee - J Fleming (Boroughmuir)

Scoring sequence: (Reds first): 0-3, 7-3, 7-10, 10-10 (half-time) 10-17, 13-17, 18-17, 18-20, 18-23, 18-28, 25-28.

Scorers: Glasgow Caledonian Reds - Tries - Petrie (25, 80), Hayes (54). Conversions -Hayes (25), Shepherd (80). Penalties - Hayes (40, 53). Swansea - Tries - Jenkins (34), Rees (46, 79). Conversions - A Thomas (34, 46). Penalties-A Thomas (21, 64). Drop goal - A Thomas (72).

Power play: Caley's Jon Petrie bursts through to score his first try last night.Picture: GRAHAM STUART