Otters edge out The Borderers

Narberth 19

Whitland 13

Narberth took the honours against neighbours Whitland but not before they had been pushed all the way by a revitalised Borderers side.

Both sides missed chances on a heavy pitch but it was the visitors who took the lead after early pressure was rewarded with a penalty from outside half Scott Newton. The Otters had a chance to draw level but winger James Russell missed a routine penalty.

But Russell made amends with two kicks on target, and full back Johnny Morgan almost grabbed a try out of nothing as he kicked to the corner, gave chase and almost snatched a touch-down but was denied by a Whitland hand.

It set up a pressure platform for the Otters and Alex Jenkins, Wayne Williams and Dan Smith were involved before Whitland did well to clear the danger and score a cracking try which started with a powerful surge from winger Tomi Jones, before centre Lee Glanville put full back Dafydd Williams away on a 25-metre run to the posts for Newton to convert.

A 6-10 deficit wasn’t what Narberth expected and it stung them into action as Gareth Bateman ripped the ball clear at a maul to set up the platform from which Steve Martin supplied co-centre Richard Davies with the scoring pass.

The Otters struck again right on half time as Davies set up the chance with a run down the middle and his little kick ahead allowed Martin to hack over the line and win the race for the touch-down to give Narberth a 16-10 interval lead.

Tomi Jones featured in two other powerful runs for Whitland in the second half but he was held at key times, as was big No 8 Callum Tree, with Andrew Jenkins also often featuring in attack.

A Newton penalty reduced the deficit to three points but Narberth remained composed and always posed a threat with Johnny Morgan and Martin looking to create space.

But the only other points came late on when Russell notched his third penalty for Narberth and helped them to a victory that keeps them in fifth place – but The Borderers are still in mortal danger at the foot of the table despite picking up a losing bonus point.

Narberth: Johnny Morgan, Rhys Lane, Richard Davies, Steve Martin (capt), James Russell, Stuart Morris, Jarred Bayliss, Sean Lloyd, Dan Smith, Tom Slater, Chris James, Alex Jenkins, Lawrence Reynolds, Wayne Williams, Gareth Bateman. Replacements: Steffan Jones, Steffan Phillips, Gyles Vaughan, Nick Jones, Aled Jones.

Whitland: Dafydd Williams, Will Davies, Carwyn Jones, Lee Glanville, Tomi Jones, Scott Newton, Andrew Jenkins (capt), Rhodri Jones, Marc Jones, Nathan Price, Adam Clarke, Kieran White, Dylan Richards, Zac France-Miller, Callum Tree. Replacements: Gareth Lloyd, Gethin Jones, Dafydd Evans, Jonathan Thomas, Dai Ebsworth.

Referee: Justin Williams

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