Glasgow Caley ............. 8 Newport ............ 8

Glasgow Caledonians, after putting on a strong display for the first hour, survived a late surge from Newport to secure their first draw of the season in last night's Celtic League match at Bridgehaugh.

Over the piece, the Reds were perhaps worth slightly more than a draw, having mastered the difficult conditions at Bridgehaugh much the better than Newport.

Allun Lewis, the Newport director of rugby, praised the Reds for their forward effort. ''We were under a lot of pressure in the scrums. I thought the Reds driving mauls were absolutely superb. Overall, I was very happy to get the points,'' admitted Lewis.

Conversely, Richie Dixon, the Reds coach, suggested: ''We let Newport get out of jail. We penalised ourselves by not scoring points in the first 20 minutes.

''Indiscipline was another factor. They never looked like scoring until we gave away a few silly penalties towards the end of the game,'' he added.

''Technically, our ball retention was not as good as it should have been. The players were disappointed. We worked hard for this game, but it is a step forward.''

The Reds, however, can take much out of this game. They certainly appeared to have mastered the horrendously wet surface conditions at Bridgehaugh much the better and tactically were ahead of Newport in their approach.

The Reds also found themselves ahead in the set scrums and in the lineout, but it was in the area of the driving maul, in which Scotland No.8 Gordon Simpson was constantly the pivot, that the home side looked ahead.

Behind the scrum, Andy Nicol posted a big performance, while in midfield Ian Jardine proved that he is still a forceful defender and a player capable of ploughing furrows in the opposition defence.

It was the Reds who secured the first points, with a penalty goal by stand-off Tommy Hayes after 14 minutes of pressure from the home side, and had an immediate chance to add a further score when Glenn Metcalfe engineered an attack with a chip and chase, only for Shaun Longstaff to fail to hold the difficult pass from centre Jon Stuart.

An inspired piece of running from scrum half Nicol and the linkage with Metcalfe all but produced a try for Alan Watt, but the big prop was held up on the Newport line. At the resultant scrum, Newport were penalised for collapsing.

The Reds opted for another scrum and this time a quick heel allowed Scotland No.8 Gordon Simpson to pick up and power over on the blind side.

Hayes missed the conversion and there was another wayward kick minutes later, this time from the normally reliable Gareth Cull, the Newport full back.

The Welshmen, however, were beginning to look dangerous with ball in hand as the first half neared its conclusion, but a choice chance was lost when, of all players, Gary Teichmann spilled a potential scoring pass to leave the Reds 8-0 ahead at the interval.

A determined drive from Teichmanm from the second-half kick-off signalled a steely resolve from the Welsh side and when scrum half David Llewellym chipped into the corner only nimble footwork by Longstaff saved a Newport score.

Newport, harnessing the wind to their advantage, were not to be denied the points they deserved for early second-half pressure, and when Cull kicked a fiftieth minute penalty following an off-side decision it was due reward for the Welshmen.

However, the Newport full back was off-target in a second attempt at goal, after he had been obstructed by Longstaff, and again with a sixtieth-minute attempt following a Reds infringement at a ruck.

It was not to be Cull's night as the full back again hooked a kick at goal to let the Reds off the hook once again.

With Cull off form with the boot, Newport opted to run subsequent penalty awards and it paid dividends when former Springbok stand-off Franco Smith chipped over the Reds defence to create a score in the corner for left wing Ben Breeze, the final points of the game.

Glasgow Caledonians - G Metcalfe; A Bulloch (A Bond 65min), J Stuart, I Jardine, S Longstaff; T Hayes, A Nicol; A Watt, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, S Campbell, J White, J Petrie (D Burns 50), G Simson, D McFadyen.

Newport - G Cull; J Thomas, S Howarth, J Pritchard (A Marinos 65), B Breeze; F Smith, D Llewellyn; P Rogers, C Donahue (G Hicks), R Snow, G Taylor, S Rawilui, A Popham, G Teichmann, J Forster.

Scorers: Glasgow Caledonians - Tries Simpson; Penalties - Hayes. Newport - Tries Breeze; Penalties - Cull.

Referee - I Ramage (Berwick).

qCELTIC League leaders Pontypridd slipped to their first defeat but made Llanelli dig deep for a scrappy 33-11 victory last night which keeps their championship hopes alive. The Scarlets earned their success on the back of a barnstorming show from Wales No.8 Scott Quinnell.

Quinnell, Chris Wyatt, and Wayne Proctor (2) scored the tries for Llanelli as they staged a late show to win less convincingly than the scoreline suggests.