NEWCASTLE Emlyn's hopes for a bright start to 2018 were sunk by visitors Narberth as they went down 13-26.

But it was a game decided in the end by fine margins in what was an engrossing match between the only two Championship sides in the Scarlets region.

With probably 70 per cent possession in their favour you would have expected Emlyn to be the ultimate victors but Narberth, to their credit, showed why they are second in the League with some clinical finishing as they maximised the few scoring opportunities that came their way.

Led by inspirational captain Alex Williams, Emlyn threw wave after wave of attacks at the visitors and it was fitting that it was Williams who eventually managed to breach their defence and score Emlyn’s try late in the second half.

He was ably supported by Emlyn’s two big ball carrying forwards Joel James and Luke Kendall who caused problems for Narberth every time they had the ball in their hands with their powerful surges. Kendall came close to scoring on three occasions, each time being dragged down inches from the line by at least three defenders.

Visitors' outside half Jonathan Rogers opened Narberth’s account with a simple kick in front of the posts and another try came from winger Liam Hutchins.

For Emlyn two penalties from outside half Ashley Sutton brought Emlyn within two points of the visitors but Narberth quickly increased their lead with a try from captain second row Alex Jenkins.

The last 15 minutes of the first half saw almost complete territorial dominance by the Red and Whites.

The second half saw Narberth's left winger Jack Parkinson sprint over in the corner for his side’s third try.

All the attacking play now was coming from the Red and Whites but Narberth’s defence was tenacious and committed.

It took until the 35th minute of the half before Emlyn eventually crossed the Narberth line thanks to skipper Alex Williams for Sutton to convert.

With time running out, Rogers' boot added a penalty and Narberth flanker Tom Powell managed to force his way over for the fourth, bonus point try for the visitors with the final play of the game.

Emlyn take a break from league action next week when they entertain Merthyr in the first round of the WRU Cup. The Ironmen are currently on top of the Premiership and will pose a huge challenge at Dol Wiber with the game scheduled to kick off at 2.30pm.