Division One West: Pembroke 24-25 Whitland

Whitland held on for a dramatic victory over Pembroke at a sun kissed Crickmarren.

The Borderers were leading 25-19 on the stroke of full-time, but the visitors lost possession in the Pembroke half and the Scarlets mounted one last counter attack which saw replacement flanker Jordan Evans crash over in the right-hand corner.

With the Scarlets trailing by a point fly half Toby Smith needed to kick the conversion, but his effort was wide and short, and straight after the final whistle signalled a win for Gareth Bennett’s Borderers by the narrowest of margins.

The Scarlets got off to a bright start as Tom Harding-Jones jinked his way over for the opening try which Smith converted  before missing a penalty from 30 metres soon after.

However, the dis-jointed Borderers had their line broken again as Harding-Jones squeezed over in the corner. Smith missed the extras but the home side were in command at 12-0.

The visitors got back in the game when they were awarded a penalty try by referee Gareth Jablonski, who deemed the Scarlets’ pack had deliberately taken down a maul on their own try line.

On the stroke of half time aThe Borderers levelled matters 12-12 as an intelligent crossfield kick from Nico Setaro was gathered by winger JackHowells who grounded in the corner for an unconverted score.

After the break the Borderers had the use of the slope, and Setaro kicked a 30-metre penalty as the Scarlets scrum was penalised to nudge his side 15-12 ahead.

But Geraint Lewis’ team hit back immediately to take a 19-15 lead as replacement winger Shaun Dalling dived in for unconverted try in the right-hand corner.

With the very next attack, The Borderers regained a 20-19 lead following a lineout and drive and skipper Marc Jones crashed over for an unconverted score.

Five minutes from full time a clever chip upfield from Nico Setaro led to his cousin Gino winning the crucial footrace for the touchdown.

That made it 25-19 as the Scarlets had just one more throw of the dice as Evans grabbed a last gasp try which went unconverted and Whitland just edged victory when on another day it quite easily could have gone Pembroke’s way.

Pembroke: Luke Hartland, Tom Harding-Jones, Fraser James, Dan Colley, Barrie Alderman-John, Toby Smith, Tom Lewis, Lloyd Davies, Shane Gwyther, Jonny Palmer, Scott Powell (capt), Bill Kinnear, Rhodri Walters, Alex Thomas, Jordan Gwilliam. Replacements: Jamie Brayford, Dan Gosnold, Jack Smyth, Jordan Evans, Shaun Dalling.

Whitland: James Stephenson, Jac Howells, Gino Setaro, Josh Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, Nico Setaro, Josh Thomas (2), Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones (capt), Tom Finucane, Courtney Bowman, Ben Kirk, Jamie Thomas, Ryan Morgan, Scott Buirds. Replacements: Gethin Lewis, Michael Ryan, James Lewis, Raff Williams, Danny Evans.

Referee: Gareth Jablonski, Aberdare.