Old Pens put visitors to the sword
3:02pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Sport
FLYING FLYNN: Old Penarthians' Damian Flynn wins line out ball against Newport Saracens. :Picture: Ken Langley.
OLD PENARTHIANS 1st XV 31pts
NEWPORT SARACENS 22
FOR THE first time this season, Old Penarthians' 1st XV were able to savour a victory in a well-deserved victory over fellow Division 5SE league strugglers Newport Saracens.
This was expected to be a harder contest than the result suggests as the Saracens had previously beaten their Cardiff namesakes and were in a confident mood. The visitors also fielded a very big pack of forwards, with one of their second rows over 6ft 7in tall.
Fortunately, his ability did not match his size and he was overshadowed for most of the game by the Penarthians' second row pairing of Tom Sidford and Damian Flynn. The front row of Dale Norris, Tony Kemp and Simon Barry also had their opponents in trouble at the scrummage. This platform allowed Mark Smart, Danny Godfrey and man-of-the match Alex Holder free rein to forage and hassle the opponents whenever they had the ball.
The threequarters were, therefore, guaranteed good possession and debutant, and Penarth permit player, Gareth Clancy, dictated the play with selective use of the forwards to carry the ball into contact before releasing the back line.
Outside-half Jonathan Crimp distributed the ball well to bring powerful centres James Williams and Liam Union into the contact areas where, for the first time this season, the forwards were in support to keep the momentum going forward. This allowed wingers Richie Moir and Dean Dacruz to see some action and even Lloyd Davey was keen to enter the line from full back, until forced off part way through the second half with a repeat of a hamstring injury after striding out to chase one of his own kicks.
And it was the backs that scored the four tries in the first half to seal a bonus point within 28 minutes. Scores came from Williams, Moir, Davey and Union, with three conversions from Crimp. This was an impressive performance, with one try coming from deep inside their own 22 when Norris stole a ball from the Sarries and kicked ahead. He didn’t quite have the pace to collect the ball himself, but, with the support of Crimp, Holder and Godfrey pressurising the defence, Moir was passed the ball to score.
Saracens were, however, not completely out of the contest and livewire wing James Casey scored two first-half solo tries to make the half time score 26-10.
Saracens came out more determined in the second half and the contest became a little fractious which unsettled the calm attitude of the first period. Some tactical substitutions and injuries then disrupted the Old Penarthians further and the home crowd nerves were on edge when wing Casey set up a try for centre Brian Foley.
Penarthians did, however, respond in style and Union crossed for his second try, which went unconverted by Crimp, who, ironically, brought one of the largest cheers of the day when he fell over his own feet when attempting to kick a spare ball from the playing area.
A final score for Casey, converted by Brian Bevan, was too late for Saracens and Penarthians were left as worthy winners.
Saturday sees the first team travel to Taffs Well and the Seconds are also away playing against Canton. Both league fixtures kick off at 2.30pm.