Posted: 18.10.21 at 11:15 by Peter Weston - Penarth RFC
Pontyclun (10) 22 Penarth (3) 15
Following last week’s cancellation, Penarth RFC managed to field a competitive squad at Windsor Field, Pontyclun last Saturday. Despite registering a fifth defeat in this year’s WRU Bowl, there were many encouraging signs as they face a four-week wait for the league season to begin.
Pontyclun always fancy themselves in this fixture and were probably conscious of the Seasiders’ solid win here in January 2020 as they tore into the opposition from the start.
Penarth withstood this well and took the fight to the hosts, narrowly missing taking the lead after 14 minutes as a penalty shot at goal was missed.
The Seasiders’ pack was already getting on top of things in the tight when the Badges took an unexpected lead two minutes later. Managing to get the ball away from a retreating scrum, they drove up the middle of the park. The Penarth defence had everything covered until openside flanker Joe Davies cut inside a missed tackle and grounded behind the posts.
Having fallen behind against the run of play the Seasiders surged straight back into the hosts’ 22. This was a high-pressure, high error-count game they were playing and should have yielded more points, but as the Badgers went further ahead with a late penalty on a rare visit to Penarth territory, the only reward for umpteen attacking phases was a James Candy penalty on the stroke of half-time.
The Seasiders continued to exert pressure in the second half, but also lost ground to handling errors. Their defence was pretty solid, but finally undone as Pontyclun tapped a penalty in the away 22, pulling the defence one way and another before right wing Ryan Wheeler found space to squeeze in at the corner for a 15-3 lead after 49 minutes.
Penarth came back strongly and closed the gap to a single score on the hour. A tapped free kick on the home 10m line found its way to a determined Harry Wood outside the 22, who side-stepped and waded through five or six heavy tackles before being stopped.
Quick ball was recycled to Alex Thau, who crashed past two tackles to the line. Having finally managed to generate some real momentum and with the home pack in complete disarray, the Seasiders seemed set fair for a thrilling comeback, only to concede a third try on 68 minutes as a quick-fire move from the Badgers brought left wing Josh Ashcroft over to the right touchline as the extra man on the overlap and a score in the corner.
Penarth emptied the bench at this point and adopted a less frenetic approach which brought them close to claiming a draw. Andy Richards benefitted from a sublime three-quarter move from a ruck and reached the line under pressure before making sure of the score by putting Tom Luck in for a well-deserved try. There was still time for the equalising try as the Seasiders piled on the pressure up to the final whistle, but a single loose pass allowed Pontyclun to reclaim possession and heave the ball into touch.
PENARTH: James Candy, Jim Crothers, Andy Richards, Tom Luck, Ben Wellington, Rhys Morgan © (Kevin Maddox), Spencer Robinson (Ellis Shewring), Harry Wood (Ryan Jones), Mason Good (Liam Richards), Alan Doyle, Ben Heywood, Cam Sultana, Josh Spragg (Josh Barden), Miles Jones, Alex Thau
Scorers: Alex Thau T, Tom Luck T, James Candy C, P
Come to Penarth Library on Monday, December 20 between 11am and 12.30pm for festive fun with the Dogs Trust. Suitable for children between 7 and 11...