Posted: 28.09.21 at 13:25 by James Docherty
With the 1st XV on a rest week it was the Athletic XV’s chance to take centre stage at the Athletic Field as they hosted Canton 2nd XV on Saturday in what turned out to be an absolute belter of a match in EDRU Division 1.
It was clear from the off that this was going to be a classic clash of styles with Canton having a noticeable size advantage to match their powerful tight game whilst Penarth clearly had the legs on the visitors particularly in the back row and wider channels.
Canton made a dominant start and soon found themselves 5-0 up after some powerful running through the centre opened a gap. But Penarth bounced straight back with Mason Good to the fore on his return from injury and some slick handling and efficient recycling of the ball saw Ben Wellington slice through the centre of the Canton defence to go under the posts.
Canton retook the lead shortly after but on the stroke of half time another silky bit of handling across the backline saw Chris Mortimer make the half break to feed Jimmy Crothers who touched down in the corner to leave the half time score a 12-12.
The sizeable crowd were now getting very much into the game and this resulted in a noticeable increase in intensity as the second half got under way and it was Penarth who struck first with Ryan Jones rumbling over after a series of phases right on the Canton try line.
Penarth were starting to find some real gaps in the wide areas with Owen Evans, Josh Barden and Jack Petersen enjoying working in space whilst Nik Haymes and George Kynaston looked a real handful.
The relentless Penarth pressure was now starting to tell and after a couple of near misses it was Andy Richards who ghosted through the tiring Canton defence to open up a nice cushion for the home side.
Canton were sprung back into action and following some lusty
drives they set up camp on the Penarth line. But Penarth were not to be denied and a huge defensive effort saw the visitors repelled and ball eventually cleared away.
Then came the try of the match as Canton drove forward past the half way line Ellis Shewring ripped the ball cleared and after a couple of phases Richards went screaming through another gap in the Canton defence, Wellington was on hand in support as the last defender was drawn in and on his return from the cricket season (and honeymoon)
Wellington crossed for his second try.
Canton got a consolation try back but it was Penarth who had the last word as Nik Haymes crossed for the 6th and final try of the afternoon.
Next Weekend sees the 1st XV back in action against Pentyrch at home whilst the Athletic travel to Cwrt y Vil to take on the Old Penarthians.
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