Tries by Ashley Sutton and Jonathan Rogers. Conversions by Nick Gale (2).
Penalty by Nick Gale.
Tries by Pat Lewis, Darren Hughes, Scott Matthews, Ethan Davies and Aaron Quick.
Conversions by Matthew Jarvis (2).
Pontypool win tough but entertaining encounter down west
Pontypool made the long trip to Pembrokeshire to face a determined Narberth side on a damp and breezy afternoon at the pleasant surroundings of the Lewis Lloyd Ground, writes Ray Ruddick.
Pontypool kicked off defending the clubhouse end of the ground. In the sixth minute Narberth were on the attack near the visitors’ 22 but a pass was intercepted by Pooler centre Kieran Meek who ran 50 metres and offloaded to Pat Lewis for the winger to run in from 30 metres to touch down near the posts. Outside half Matthew Jarvis converted (7-0). Five minutes later The Otters responded with a well-taken try by right wing Ashley Sutton following a good build up. This score, which was the first try Pooler has conceded in the league this season, was converted by full back Nick Gale to bring the scores level (7-7).
In the 25th minute the home side went off their feet at a ruck just inside their 22. Pooler kicked for the right corner and from the ensuing line out the Pontypool pack drove their opponents back and hooker Darren Hughes scored a try, 10 metres in. Matthew Jarvis added the extras (14-7). On the half hour mark Pooler were penalised at a ruck in midfield, 35 metres from their goal line. Nick Gale made no mistake with his attempt at goal to close the gap to four points (14-10). Four minutes before the break Pontypool second row Jordan Williams took a blow to the right eye and was replaced by Cameron Regan. Two minutes later the visitors were on the attack on their left, the ball was recycled and play went right. After a jinking run by full back Geraint Walsh, he passed to centre Kieran Meek and, in turn, gave the scoring pass to flanker and captain Scott Matthews who barged over from close range to the right of the posts. The conversion failed, to make the half time score Narberth 10 Pontypool 19.
At half time Joel Mahoney was replaced by Ethan Davies in the centre for Pontypool. The first fifteen minutes of the second half were closely fought and on 55 minutes play was in the home half and Pontypool moved the ball left through Ethan Davies who linked up with Geraint Walsh, then passed inside to Pat Lewis, then another inside pass to Ethan Davies put the Welsh Sevens player clear and he dived over in the corner for a well-constructed try to secure Pooler’s try bonus point. The conversion attempt went wide (24-10).
After an hour’s play Pontypool made a change with Sam Scarfe replacing No 8 Ieuan Jones. Six minutes later the visitors had a kick charged down just outside their 22 and home outside half Jonathan Rogers scored a try under the posts which Nick Gale duly converted to put his team back in contention (24-17). Pontypool then made a double substitution with Aaron Quick, making his first league appearance of the season, taking over from scrum half Owain Leonard and tight head prop Craig Price made way for Corey Hewlett. In the third minute of injury time Pontypool sealed a hard-fought, but deserved victory with an unconverted try by Aaron Quick after Pooler went blind following a lineout just outside Narberth’s 22, on the visitors’ right. Final score – Narberth 17 Pontypool 29.
Well done to both teams in what was a keenly contested and entertaining encounter, played in good spirits. Narberth at home are tough to beat and they made it very difficult for their opponents as Pooler had to dig deep to come away with all five points. Pontypool’s next scheduled game is on Saturday 19 February when they make the relatively short journey to Bargoed in what will be a major test for Pooler and, without doubt, their most difficult game of the season, kick off 2.30pm.
Narberth: Nick Gale, Ashley Sutton, Jordan Roberts (replaced by Rhys Lane), Joe Hutchings, Aled Rees (replaced by Ianto Griffiths), Jonathan Rogers, George McDonald, Bradley Davies (replaced by Lewis Davies), Rhodri Owens (replaced by Dan Smith), Tom Slater, Rhys Williams (replaced by Josh Hamer), Alex Jenkins, Tom Curry, Tom Powell and Steffan Phillips.
Pontypool: Geraint Walsh, Pat Lewis, Joel Mahoney (replaced by Ethan Davies), Kieran Meek, Amosa Nove, Matthew Jarvis, Owain Leonard (replaced by Aaron Quick), Sam Cochrane, Darren Hughes, Craig Price (replaced by Corey Hewlett), Jordan Williams (replaced by Cameron Regan), Ashley Sweet, Scott Matthews (captain), Adam Stratton and Ieuan Jones (replaced by Sam Scarfe).