Narberth 43-7 Skewen

Narberth’s comfortable home win over Skewen confirmed two issues in the section table as The Otters’ reward for this rearranged fixture was the runners-up spot and at the same time sent the visitors back down into Dvision One – and it was a special day for Nick Gale because the winger led the team out to celebrate his 100th appearance.

There had been controversy as Skewen had called the match off on the previous Saturday and their coach Richard Ball struggled to get players in this game for an all-amateur team playing in a semi-professional division, but to be fair they battled until the final whistle, played some good running from their backs and were rewarded with a late try by Kevin James which was converted by Adam Rowlands.

But Narberth were on top from the outset and claimed their first try early on when Skewen conceded a string of four penalties at a scrum five and from the fifth Lewys Davies and Ianto Griffiths put centre Kieron Jones into a gap and Griffiths added the extra points.

Another scrum five set the stage for Narberth’s second score as Tom Powell barged his way through a couple of defenders and managed to stretch out for a corner try which went unconverted.

Skewen looked sharp on occasions as skipper Andrew Collins and co-centre James were looking to release James Ball and Mark Harvey but the Narberth defence held firm and they added a cracking third try when Ianto Griffiths waltzed through to the posts and added the conversion.

A bad bounce denied winger Gethin Gibby after good work by James Stephenson in his defensive role was quickly turned into attack mode – and then a powerful 35-metre burst by No 8 Steffan Phillips brought the bonus-point try and another conversion from the in-form Griffiths.

There was still time for another try; this time by Gibby after he had been put away by Kieran Griffiths and replacement Jonathan Rogers, giving The Otters a 31-0 interval lead.

Kieran Griffiths, who played after Paul Davies had been injured in the pre-match warm-up, showed his strength with a powerful run to the clubhouse corner and a strong hand off before reaching the line.

The dynamic Tom Powell claimed his second try as he rounded off a cracking move which started in The Otters’ 22 and involved most of the team and Ianto Griffiths’ conversion was almost inevitable.

It says much for Skewens’ spirit that they came more into the game in the final quarter and deservedly claimed a consolation score as Kevin James showed good strength to reach the whitewash and full back Adam Rowlands landed the conversion as they left the Championship with a little bang, rather than a whimper.

Narberth can rightly be proud of their second place in such a quality division, with the coaching staff of Sean Gale, Liam Gadd and Lloyd Phillips, plus team manager Rob ‘Basher’ Lewis, doing a great job.

Narberth: James Stephenson, Nick Gale, Kieron Jones, Kieran Griffiths, Gethin Gibby, Ianto Griffiths, Lewys Gibby, Bradley Davies, Dan Smith, Tom Slater, Jake Simm, Alex Jenkins (Capt), Tom Powell, Sean Jenkins, Steffan Phillips. Replacements: Tom Kaijaks, Rhodri Owens, Harry Phillips, Ryan Banner, Jonathan Rogers.

Skewen: Adam Rowlands, James Ball, Andrew Collins (Capt), Kevin James, Mark Harvey, Anthony Boselli, Jamie Kirkhouse, Johnny Gethin, Lucas Edwards, Steffan Bond, Reece Jenkins, John Grimes, Lee Dunsford, Richard Grimes, Chris Grimes. Replacement: Sam Collins.