NARBERTH celebrated a comfortable victory over Cardiff Met on a damp April afternoon.
The game was very much in doubt due to the heavy rainfall during the week but the hard work of the dedicated committee members paid off as the pitch was eventually in playable condition.
Alex Jenkins led Narberth to the field on his 300th league appearance for the Otters. He was welcomed by a large applause for his remarkable achievement. Also making his 100th league appearance was dedicated prop Bradley Davies.
Cardiff Met kicked off towards the club house end of the ground. Narberth outside half Jonathan Rogers kicked for touch against a breeze, Cardiff Met gathered the ball and set up a box kick, of which Nick Gale caught, beat the initial defenders, passed and regathered a pass from Josh Davies. He ran into the far right corner to open the scoring. Gale successfully converted his try (7-0)
The Otters found it difficult playing into the wind and were camped in their own half for much of the next twenty minutes.
Cardiff Met tested the Otters’ lineout defence frequently but good work from Otters captain Tom Powell prevented scoring opportunities for Met.
Narberth looked to spread the ball often and good passing by the three quarters offered wing Ashley Sutton a chip and chase opportunity. A knock on by the Otters halted play in Met’s twenty-two Following the scrum, Met outside half Osian Evans attempted a peculiar cross field kick, Josh Davies gathered the kick and raced in to the corner to score the Otters’ second try. (12-0)
Met used the wind to their advantage to keep the Otters deep in their own twenty-two. Eventually, Met’s maul pressure paid off and the referee awarded Met a penalty try and sent Otters flanker Caine Rees-Jones to the sin bin for preventing another promising lineout drive.
Narberth coped well with fourteen men and outstanding scrum half Lewys Gibby made numerous breaks into the opposition half.
Early in the second half, the Otters spread the ball wide and the ball reached captain Tom Powell, who raced into space and offloaded to wing Josh Davies for his second try of the afternoon. Gale converted. (19-7)
The Otters continued in the same vein as the game developed, attacking deep in Met’s half. Narberth forced an error and the in-form Lewys Gibby pounced on a loose ball and dived into the clubhouse corner in spectacular fashion, much to the joy of the supporters. (24-7)
The young Met team replied with some good enterprising play, spreading the ball wide, accumulating several phases of attack. The pressure told as Met ran in an unconverted try. (24-12)
Narberth reacted positively to this set-back when substitute wing Josh Evans scored an excellent individual try. Evans found space and raced down the flank deceiving the defenders as he scored in the far right corner. Gale converted (31-12)
Narberth kept hold of the ball for the remaining time in the game and looked to add to their score but good defence saw a decent contest come to an end with Narberth as victors 31-12.
This victory sees Narberth sat seventh in the table (17 played, 9 wins, 8 loses). The Otters travel to Maesteg Quins next Saturday before returning to the Lewis Lloyd Ground to face Ystalyfera on April 15, (Kick off 2:30pm).