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Two dramatic finishes in the opening two Welsh derbies of the festive season saw the four pro teams in Wales battle it out in front of capacity crowds with the away teams taking the points as the Ospreys and Cardiff Blues claimed the opening two games.

Exciting, hard-fought derby action kept both crowds on the edge of their seats with matches going to the wire and just one point separating the teams on the final score sheets.

The Scarlets had the chance to steal their Boxing Day home game away from close rivals the Ospreys but failed to secure final penalty points in the dying minutes of the game and lost out 26-27 at Parc y Scarlets.

However, at Rodney Parade the following day a last-minute penalty from Rhys Patchell snatched victory for the Cardiff Blues from the jaws of defeat the final score Newport Gwent Dragons 20 Cardiff Blues 21.

Close to 23,000 supporters have enjoyed the two festive fixtures with 94 points and seven tries recorded over the opening two games. A five-try thriller at Parc y Scarlets in the traditional Boxing Day derby saw John Barclay and Aled Davies cross over for the hosts with Hanno Dirksen and Alun Wyn Jones responded in kind as the two sides reached half-time level.

The boot of Aled Thomas edged the Scarlets back ahead but the Ospreys – the only Welsh region to beat the Scarlets in their own back yard since April 2010 – hit back through Eli Walker.

Dan Biggar missed a straight forward penalty and it looked as though he would be left to regret that, only for Shingler to follow suit and the Ospreys to inflict just the Scarlets’ second league defeat in their last 23 games on home soil.

The Dragons were always seemingly in control against their Welsh rivals and had a built a 17-6 lead midway through the second half. But after Lewis Evans was sent to the sin bin and conceded a penalty try after hauling down a driving maul, Blues used their man advantage to get back within a whisker of the Dragons.

Tom James dotted down to bring the Blues back to within two points, but Patchell saw his conversion sail wide. Yet he was given a second chance to win the game with a penalty from similar range, much to the frustration of the Dragons fans, and this time made no mistake.

Dorian Jones had got the ball rolling with an early drop goal. And things quickly got better for the home side when Jones fed Ashton Hewitt, who skipped inside Patchell and dived over in the corner under pressure from Alex Cuthbert. Two penalties from Patchell at the other end reduced the arrears but on the stroke of half-time Jones, who has missed just one penalty all season, gave Dragons an 11-6 lead at the interval.

Blues’ indiscipline continued to be punished in the second half, Jones with two successful penalties either side of a missed drop goal attempt.

But momentum swung in favour of the visitors on 66 minutes when Evans went in on the side of a driving maul destined for the line. He had a watching brief for the next 10 minutes and, by the time he returned to the pitch, his team were hanging on though a Jason Tovey penalty relieved some of the pressure.

Patchell looked to have blown the chance to earn Cardiff a second win in a row when he failed to convert Jones’ score, setup by nimble footwork from Dan Fish. But he held his nerve when it mattered to send the travelling fans home happy.

It will be a Happy New Year in Welsh Rugby with two big Welsh derbies remaining to round off the big festive season; thank you to all our supporters for backing their teams and helping celebrate our game in Wales.

Ospreys v Newport Gwent Dragons, 1st Jan kick off 2pm

Cardiff Blues v Scarlets, 1st Jan kick off 5pm