Division One West: Newcastle Emlyn 13-10 Whitland

A SUPERB effort from Whitland saw The Borderers come within minutes of ending Newcastle Emlyn’s 100% record in Division One West – only for a late Shaun Leonard penalty to settle matters and make it 10 wins from 10 for the hosts.

With the scores locked at 10-10 in the 73rd minute, Whitland second row Raff Williams was harshly yellow carded for going off his feet and Leonard took full advantage to claim the decisive three points.

The Borderers overcame the loss of No 8 Jack Mason to a groin injury early on to dominate the first 10 minutes, and they took the lead when flanker Ryan Morgan went over in the corner and No 10 Nico Setaro landed the conversion.

A Leonard penalty reduced the deficit before half time and then it was the same player to went over in the second half before converting to put his side 10-7 ahead.

Setaro responded with three points of his own to set up a tense final quarter, and it looked anybody’s game before Emlyn broke out of defence and forced the penalty from which Leonard won it.

Whitland still had time to come back but were unable to get the field position they needed, leaving head coach Gareth Bennett with mixed emotions.

“I have to praise the whole side today because it was a big defensive display and the front row in particular were outstanding. We dominated the scrum.

“I think a draw would have been a fair result but they got the late penalty and then we tried too hard to chase the game.”