Narberth were expecting a very tough match against Llangennech and that’s exactly what they got with the outcome not decided until the very last seconds of the game.

On Saturday, Narberth travelled to Llangennech for the top of the table clash in the Championship (West) Division.

In front of a large number of their travelling supporters Narberth started the game well but a solid and organised defence by the home team kept the Otters from getting points on the board. 15 minutes into the match and a long pass by the Llan fly half saw the home team full back break a tackle and send their right wing down the touchline. He threw an inside pass to supporting prop Iestyn Jones who ran in unopposed under the posts for a converted try to put Llangennech 7-0 in front. 

Ten minutes later, Narberth reduced the arrears when fly half Jonathan Rogers kicked a penalty (7-3). The home team fought back strongly and after constant pressure close to the Narberth line, the ball was again spun wide by the Llangennech backs and their right wing dived over in the corner for an unconverted try which stretched their lead to 12-3. There was no further score before half time.

In the early part of the second half the home team came out stronger and only dogged defence from the entire Narberth team kept them from scoring again. The Otters gradually started to get more into the game and eventually another penalty by Rogers reduced the arrears to 12-6. Conditions were now deteriorating with driving rain making passing the ball very difficult and when Llangennech kicked another penalty to increase their lead to 15-6 with only eight minutes to go it looked as if Narberth’s unbeaten run had come to an end. 

However, almost from the kick off the Otters regained possession and in desperation Narberth ran the ball with captain Tom Powell charging down the middle of the field. He released the ball to centre Aled Rees who in turn passed to Lewys Gibby who scampered down the touchline to score an excellent unconverted try to bring the score back to 15-11 with less than five minutes remaining. The Otters threw everything into attack and Gibby nearly scored again when he was tackled just short of the line. 

Wing Dean James scoring the winning try for the Otters.
Wing Dean James scoring the winning try for the Otters. (Pic. Myrddin Dennis)

After a series of drives by their forwards, the ball was released to Rogers and he kicked the ball high across the pitch where left wing Dean James was on hand to gather the ball, hand off his opposite number and dive over the line wide out for a spectacular try. Rogers converted and the referee immediately blew his whistle to signal the end of the game with the Otters snatching the result at the death by 15 points to 18.

Narberth’s Man of the Match award went to prop Tom Slater for his solid scrummaging throughout the game. Narberth’s next match is home to Ammanford in two weeks time.