Cross Keys 28 Narberth 22

In-form Narberth travelled to Cross Keys looking for their fifth win on the bounce - but they fell just short in an entertaining 28-22 defeat in the WRU Championship.

Keys were one place above the Otters in the league table and had won the fixture in Narberth by a mere one point, so a very close game was anticipated.

In the first five minutes the Otters spread the ball wide to wing Josh Davies who ran down the touchline and then passed inside to supporting scrum half Lewys Gibby, who scored wide out for an unconverted try (0-5).

Within minutes Keys had used the same tactic of spreading the ball across the field with their right wing scoring a try, converted by their centre to nudge them in front 7-5.

Narberth regained the lead when a driving lineout saw No.8 Roy Osborn force his way over for another unconverted try (7-10).

The Otters continued to play attacking rugby at every opportunity but near the half way line a stray pass was intercepted by Keys left wing who ran in close to the posts for another converted try (14-10).

The game was being played at a frantic pace and within ten minutes a side step and jinking run from Gibby took the Otters into the keys 22m area and a well timed pass to supporting centre Ilan Phillips saw Phillips score an excellent try.

Full back Nick Gale seemed to be having an off day with the boot and uncharacteristically once again missed the conversion (14-15).

Narberth nearly scored again almost immediately from the kick off but Ilan Phillips was pulled down just short of the try line and Keys were awarded a penalty to relieve the pressure.

However Narberth continued to mount attacks against the home team and after a series of driving rushes by their forwards Otters No.8 Osborn once again crashed over for the fourth and bonus point try, which Gale this time converted to stretch the lead to 14-22.

Keys were quick to get back into the game when a speculative kick from their full back bounced awkwardly, eluding several Narberth players, and was recovered by the full back who sped in under the posts for another converted try (21-22).

The second half turned into a much more dour affair with both teams defences dominating the game and few points being scored.

After some poor defensive play by the Otters the Keys forwards turned over what should have been Narberth ball and quickly spread the ball wide to the right wing.

The winger dashed down the touchline and passed inside to their supporting flanker who scored under the posts for a fourth converted try to put Keys in front 28-22.

Narberth had one further chance to win the game when they were awarded a penalty on the Keys 22 metre line.

Fly half Rogers kicked to the corner but from the lineout the throw in was adjudged to be not straight and the chance was lost, with Keys kicking the ball out of play from the resulting scrum to conclude the match.

Admiral National Championship Results: 22 April: Cross Keys 28 Narberth 22; Maesteg Quins 40 Cardiff Met 26; Tata Steel 17 Glamorgan Wanderers 42; Trebanos 5 Bargoed 38; Ystalyfera 10 Beddau 27.

Admiral National Championship Fixtures: 29 April: Bargoed v Tata Steel; Beddau v Cross Keys; Bedwas v Trebanos; Glamorgan Wanderers v Ystrad Rhondda; Maesteg Quins v Neath; Narberth v Pontypool; Ystalyfera v Cardiff Met.