Narberth 29.

Whitland 16.

Narberth grabbed the Pembrokeshire KO Cup with both hands as they fended off the strong challenge of a Whitland side which battled manfully with 14 men, after losing key flanker Phil Morgan sent off after two minutes, writes Bill Carne.

It was a shame because that incident apart the game was a great credit to Pembrokeshire Rugby's two top teams as play was fully committed, played at a breakneck pace and with skills aplenty on both sides as the Otters deservedly took revenge for defeat by the Borderers in Tenby last season.

They had great running from centre Steve Martin and skipper Sion Brace at full-back, with Matthew Davies returning to his former club as fly-half and showing his electric acceleration as a constant thorn in the Whitland cover defence, setting up platforms and crowning a man of the match performance with a virtuoso try at the end.

Morgan was dismissed by referee Huw David for allegedly throwing a punch in the first ruck and Narberth really turned the screw because at the first scrum near the Whitland line Dan Smith took a strike against the head and big No 8 Jamie Bohata ploughed through for a try, which Nick Jones was unable to convert.

Lesser clubs might have caved in under such pressure, but Whitland called on all their resources to claw their way back into the Narberth half, and after Aled Davies had been off target with two long-range penalties he made it third time lucky with a good penalty and nudged his side ahead with a second kick on target soon afterwards, as Narberth centre Neil Davies was yellow-carded.

Whitland increased their lead right on half-time after Raff Williams, Aled Harries and Williams, all tireless workers for the Borderers, established the platform for Will Davies to go close and when the full-back was hauled down inches short a quick recycling allowed play to be spread left and Will Davies popped up again to score a deserved try which his namesake Aled converted to make the interval score 13-5 in the Borderers' favour.

But Whitland hopes of a brave win were soon reduced somewhat as Matthew Davies put in a second-minute scything run and when he was held up short play was spun right for skipper Brace to claim the touch-down. Jones' conversion was wide but Narberth grabbed a third unconverted try after Aled Davies had put a drop goal attempt wide and a blistering run by Steve Martin down the left saw him give the scoring pass to Neil Davies and enabled the Otters to lead 15-13.

Nick Jones missed a Narberth penalty and another Matthew Davies run caused problems before the final pass was knocked on - but the elusive Davies and Martin were the catalysts for another Otter score after Whitland hooker Aled Harries had been sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle and Narberth lock Chris James crashed over at the posts for Jones to convert.

But Whitland showed 100% focus as Aled Davies landed a pressure penalty to reduce the deficit to only six points with ten minutes left, but they were unable to add any further points as Nathan Williams, Smith and Justin Hughes made sure that Narberth secured good ball and at the death it was Matthew Davies who took the ball on the Whitland 22, made a little feint and cut through without a hand laid on him.

Nick Jones' conversion proved to be the last touch of a pulsating final and it was good to see the respect shown by the teams towards each other afterwards when Phil Thompson, of Chevron, presented the coveted trophy and medals to two very tired teams who had given everything on a very hot afternoon, on a hard pitch.