Division Two West: Pembroke 17-21 Pontyberem

Pembroke were knocked off the top of Division Two West as they went down to a narrow home defeat against a Pontyberem side which used its powerful pack as the platform.

The Scarlets conceded the verdict after leading 17-12 with an hour of the game gone and their opponents now threateningly in third spot only a point behind but with a game in hand – with Penclawdd back top of the table again after their bonus-point win over Fishguard.

Pontyberem had experienced forwards like Wayne Williams, the ex-Narberth back rower Bryn Griffiths, who was previously with Llanelli and Llanybydder, and the visitors served notice of intent with an early try from prop James Prosser which was converted by Dom Sauro.

Pembroke were soon playing well however, as Sam Smith forced his way over in the corner and brother Toby added the difficult conversion – but missed the target when Sean Dalling raced clear for a cracking Scarlets’ try.

Sauro reduced the interval deficit with a penalty but Pembroke increased their advantage to seven points as young winger Tom Harding-Jones bamboozled several defenders on a run from half way.

But as conditions worsened Pontyberem sucked The Scarlets into an attritional mode of play and another Sauro penalty was followed by a Pontyberem try for winger Tim Lloyd which put them ahead - before Sauro had the final word with his third penalty.

It was a blow for The Scarlets but they still have to travel to Pontyberem and are still in the race for the title – but know they cannot afford to lose any other tough tussles like this one.

“It was a tough one,” admitted Pembroke forwards coach Kyle Davies.

“There was a lot of wind and rain into the bottom corner second half and we just couldn’t get out of there. Fair play they had a monster pack so conditions suited them”

The Scarlets now don’t play again until March 23rd when they travel to struggling Mumbles, and both Davies and Geraint Lewis will be keen to right a wrong after they were surprisingly beaten by the Swansea side at home.

Telegraph Sport sends best wishes to Pontyberem centre Mikey Jenkins who was carried off with aserious ankle injury during the game.

Pembroke: Luke Hartland, Tom Harding-Jones, Shaun Dalling, Dan Colley, Simon Stanford, Toby Smith, Tom Lewis, Lloyd Davies, Seamus Wiseman, Johnny Palmer, Scott Powell, Will Edwards, Rhodri Walters, Ale Thomas, Sam Smith. Replacements: Jack Smythe, Jordan Gwilliam, Dom Colman, James Davies, Rhys Mainwaring.