Llanelli produced a spirited second-half display, but were second best in the West Wales derby, losing 38-28 to Carmarthen Quins in a free-scoring Indigo Premiership clash.
Trailing 26-0 at half-time, Llanelli restored pride in the second period, claiming a try bonus point, but head coach Phil John and his coaching team will be disappointed at the manner in which their side allowed the Quins to take a firm grip on the game in the opening period.
Quins dominated a one-sided first half, punishing Llanelli with four unanswered tries.
They were up and running after just six minutes with hooker Torin Myhill winning the race to a clever kick through from centre Ryan Davies.
Full-back Josh Phillips pulled a penalty attempt wide, but with the Quins getting on top up front, scrum power led to a penalty try and the sin-binning of prop Sam O’Connor on the half hour mark.
Down to 14 men, it got worse for Llanelli as centre Ryan Davies and wing Dylan Richards took advantage of their side’s numerical advantage to cross for tries before the break and to lead 26-0 at half-time.
Desperately needing some form of response, Llanelli carved out their first try early in the second half.
A breakaway led to a penalty in Quins territory, the ball was kicked to the corner and from the ensuing line-out, scrum-half Luke Davies freed blindside wing Joe Hutchings, who finished off well.
Phillips converted, but back came the Quins with a sucker punch of a fifth try.
With momentum behind them, Llanelli pushed for a second try, only for Quins to counter through full-back Luke Davies who sent replacement Aaron Hemmings away for the run-in.
Llanelli, though, refused to fold.
A strong line-out drive led to hooker Llew Phillips-Taylor touching down for a second try, then after Quins produced a similar effort through replacement Sion Jones, Llanelli finished the game strongly, despite losing skipper Iwan Shenton to the sin bin.
Centre Iestyn Gwilliam (pictured) broke away to feed wing Rhys Harris for the third, then Gwilliam burgled the ball and raced 40 metres to the posts for the bonus-point score.
Llanelli almost claimed a second bonus point in the dying seconds, but No. 8 Ben Williams was denied inches short of the line.
Llanelli – tries: J. Hutchings. L. Phillips-Taylor, R. Harris, I. Gwilliam. Cons: J. Phillips (4).
Quins – tries: T. Myhill, pen try, R. Davies, D. Richards, A. Hemmings, S. Jones. Cons: J. Wilson (3)