Pembroke 24-25 Whitland
A LATE missed conversion saw Whitland take the spoils from an entertaining Pembrokeshire-derby with Pembroke on Saturday (Sept 14).
Pembroke drew 25-25 in Aberystwyth in their first game in League 1 West the previous week and they knew they would face another tough test against a strong Whitland pack.
The home side started the better of the two as they pulled their opponents around the park before scoring their first try of the game.
19-year-old Tom Harding-Jones picked up the ball from the backs and beat a couple of defenders to touch down. Toby Smith added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
They scored again soon after as Harding-Jones took a long pass from Smith before diving over in the corner. Smith missed the conversion.
Whitland were then given a penalty try as Pembroke were adjudged to have collapsed a driving maul, bringing the score back to 12-7.
Pembroke lost Lloyd Davies to a yellow card as a result of that and shortly before the break Whitland scored again through Jac Howells to bring the scores level.
It remained level at half time but Whitland went ahead early in the second half when Nico Setaro scored a penalty.
Pembroke then hit back as Sean Dalling went over on the right hand side and Smith then converted to make it 19-15 to the home side.
The Borderers then went ahead with an unconverted try that was scored by Marc Jones.
The home side then began to dominate as they looked to retake the lead but a loose pass saw Whitland kick ahead and it was Gino Setaro who won the race to the ball to touch down and increase their lead. The conversion was missed and the score remained 19-25.
With time running out Jordan Evans, on as a second half sub, picked up the ball from the scrum and ran 15 metres to score.
Smith faced a difficult conversion from out wide and was just unable to get the ball through.
It meant the score stayed at 24-25 and try as they might they were unable to find a late score which would have won the game.
Whitland held on for a thrilling win but Pembroke were left ‘gutted’ that they didn’t quite pick up the win.
Despite the result, Pembroke Head Coach Geraint Lewis was pleased with his squad which featured a number of young players adding that they had competed well with two good sides in their opening games of the season.