Division One West: Whitland 22-27 Llangennech

The game defied the conditions at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn as Whitland and Llangennech produced an intense contest that yielded eight tries.

But in the end a try hat trick from full back Ashley Sutton wasn’t enough for The Borderers, with Llangennech crossing five times themselves to keep their hopes of a top two finish in track.

This was despite things kicking off in swirling winds and driving rain, and it was the home side who seemed hell bent on bouncing back from a late loss in Newcastle Emlyn the week before as they applied the early pressure.

A penalty which would normally have been a shot at goal for Nico Setaro led to the opening try. The No 10 opted for a quick tap in the adverse weather and a strong drive from prop Aaron Mayne laid the platform for Whitland to go wide – and full back Sutton executed a chip and chase to the perfection before diving on the loose ball to score.

Setaro added the tricky conversion and the home side continued to try and place with tempo, perhaps to their own cost when second row Courtney Bowman was pinged for holding on the floor as The Borderers tried to attack from deep.

Llangennech outside half Taylor Phillips was short with the resultant 35 metre penalty but just moments later the visitors struck as hooker Callum Jenkins rounded off a slick move by delivering a pop pass for second row Dan Moyle to score in the corner.

Phillips was again off target with the conversion before Whitland again showed their intentions to attack as a quick lineout in their own 22 eventually released winger Jonathan Thomas down the right – but his chip ahead was covered by away full back Tom Barnes.

However, the second Whitland try soon came and again it was Sutton who did the damage, taking a pass off centre James Stephenson and jinking through a gap 20 metres out before beating Barnes to score.

That made it 12-5 but Llangennech were level by half time with a super solo effort from scrum half Gareth George.

He broke from a lineout on half way and showed real pace before kicking ahead and winning the race to the touch down. Phillips converted.

The second half then belonged to the visitors.

Sustained pressure led to a try for hooker Jenkins and although Setaro responded with a penalty – the home side suffered two hammer blows when Stephenson was yellow carded for handling the ball on the floor and then skipper and hooker Marc Jones also went for going to high in the contact.

Llangennech took full advantage, with Moyle getting his second try before some slick backline play led to Tom Davies going over in the corner. All three tries went unconverted but at 27-15, the Llanelli side looked home and dry, metaphorically at least.

There was a further twist to come though as Sutton waltzed over again late on and Setaro converted – but while the score sealed a bonus point for The Borderers it came too late to affect the outcome.

Whitland: Ashley Sutton, Jonathan Thomas, Alex Codd, James Stephenson, Ollie Hughes, Nico Setaro, Adam Davies, Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones, Tomos Evans, Raff Williams, Ben Kirk, Courtney Bowman, James Lewis, James Thomas. Replacements: Iwan Lewis, Matt Done, Tom Finucane, Dai Ebsworth, Geraint Jones.

Llangennech: Tom Barnes, Tom Davies, Rhys Davies, Richard Thomas, Harrison Button, Taylor Phillips, Gareth George, Drew Jones, Callum Jenkins, Brandon Lee, Jordan Price, Dan Moyle, James Cartwright, Shaun Edwards (capt), Jordan Saunders. Replacements: Matthew Bowen, Ryan Davies, Rhys Webb, Chris Doran, Ieuan Thomas.

Referee: Dewi Phillips (Aberystwyth).