Division Two West: Fishguard and Goodwick 22-31 Burry Port

It was an epic 80 minutes that was laced with incident and intensity – but that will be of no consolation to Fishguard.

After being 22-21 up against unbeaten league leaders Burry Port with just 10 minutes to go, The Seagulls ultimately ended up with nothing. It meant a third defeat on the bounce which leaves them lying tenth and while the division remains ultra-tight, head coach Nathan Jenkins and co will know they can ill afford to waste winning positions from now on in.

Storming start:

Burry Port arrived at The Moors on the back of 13 consecutive league wins and yet they were rocked back by a fast start from the home side.

Strong breaks from centre Sion Rowlands and full back Robbie Jones laid the platform for No 8 Chris Shousha to pick up and drive over with Nico Setaro, on permit from Whitland, converting.

Setaro then added a penalty but back came The Blacks and from a concerted lineout drive, flanker Richard Parker touched down and full back Lee Evans converted.

And the tide turned further when from a set scrum move, No 9 Luke Ruddall popped the pass that sent centre Declan Knox under the posts and Evans again did the honours.

Further pressure followed from the away side as Fishguard second row Ben John was yellow carded and they seemed to have added to their lead when Ruddall went over from a rolling maul but was adjudged to have been held up.

And they wasted the five metre scrum that followed as Parker was penalised for dissent and also sin binned, which allowed The Seagulls to clear their lines and then go on the attack themselves.

Firstly a grubber kick from Setaro was hacked on by winger Dafydd Ridgeway, but with the line at his mercy he was unable to gather the bouncing ball - although just before half time Fishguard were back in front regardless.

Twice they went to the corner from close range penalties and second time around they crossed the line before hooker Gavin Walsh emerged under a pile of bodies with the ball. Setaro nailed the wide angled conversions.

Paying the penalty:

The second half was equally back and for, and also marred by a string of decisions against both sides as the contest intensified.

Fishguard threatened first with breaks from deep by flanker Simon James and winger Rhys Evans, but the attacks came to nothing and such was the nature of the game, The Seagulls were soon back defending their own posts.

And after a series of strong carries from the Bury Port pack it was second row Carl Rees who took a short pass of No 10 Steff Gear and crashed over, with Evans adding the extras.

That put the away side 21-17 up but they were hit by another yellow card when prop Sean Janes went in dangerously high on Shousha. Again Setaro kicked for the corner, and again it was Walsh who hit his man at the lineout before joining the driving maul, that also saw the Fishguard backs pile in, to score his second try by the corner flag.

Crucially though, Setaro’s conversion came back off the post.

The frenetic action continues as a clean break in midfield from centre James Griffiths prompted further Fishguard pressure but after he linked with Shousha, the ball went to ground in midfield. Ruddall responded by breaking back down field for Burry Port but after the visitors thought they had earned an attacking penalty – the decision was reversed after a flashpoint that saw home forward Luke Freebury and away centre Andy Francis both yellow carded.

A mix up between Ridgeway and his full back Jones though presented Burry Port with another platform, and although Fishguard did well to repel a series of drives towards the line they were eventually pinged in front of their own posts – and Evans made no mistake with the three pointer to make it 24-22.

The Seagulls tried to respond and again Griffiths burst through in midfield but his chip ahead was covered by Evans, and then more indiscipline cost the home side as they spent the dying moments defending in their own 22.

On three occasion The Blacks opted for a scrum from a penalty as they looked to seal the bonus point try, and from the final play of the game they duly got it when replacement centre Wayne Evans burst over under the posts.

That made it 29-22 and to lick salt into the wounds, Evans added the extras to ensure Fishguard finished without even a losing bonus point.

Trying times ahead:

Fishguard remain in the bottom three and as we know with Two West, geography will decide whether two or three drop down at the end of the season. Yesterday would have frustrated them – they lived with the top side in the league and it was a game they could have won. But that counts for little when you're fighting in the bottom half and they now need a result in Nantgaredig this coming Saturday or the three week break for the Six Nations will be a very uncomfortable one.

As for Burry Port, Division Two is the league where people say anyone can beat anyone. That makes a winning run of 14 consecutive games pretty remarkable.

They still have plenty of work to do but they have the mentality, and the know how under pressure, to be promoted as champions.

Fishguard and Goodwick: Robbie Jones, Rhys Evans, Sion Rowlands, James Griffiths, Dafydd Ridgeway, Nico Setaro, Andrew Williams, Will Delaney, Gavin Walsh, Andrew Morillo, Richard Hunter, Ben John, Simon James, Scott Riches, Chris Shousha (capt). Replacements: Liam Wilkes, Adam Bowen, Luke Freebury, Dan Evans, Thomas George.