Old Pens undone by second-half tries
9:01am Thursday 19th December 2013 in Sport
OLD PENARTHIANS RFC 10pts
ST JOSEPH'S 25
FOLLOWING Old Penarthians’ early exit from the WRU Bowl competition at the hands of Canton, fixture secretary Jon Vaughan secured a friendly home fixture with St Joseph's.
The ‘Joes’ were promoted from WRU National League Division 5SE at the end of the 2102/13 season as champions and this season the Cardiff-based team are top of Division 4SE, unbeaten in the league and with only one reverse in the Bowl competition against local rivals Clwb Rygbi Caerdydd.
It was, therefore, with some trepidation that coach Alun Haines accepted the fixture but was rewarded with the details that St Joseph's would be sending a mixed team of first team, squad members and youth XV players to Cwrt-y-vil.
The Old Penarthians' team was relatively strong, with the exception of a couple of players rested to nurse minor injuries, and saw the welcome return full-back Lloyd Davey from a hamstring injury.
Old Penarthians started the game with a strong wind at their backs and, for the first 15 minutes, neither side dominated. The home team scrum was, however, under a little pressure, with Sam Hall up against Penarth local Callum Wingren, who has, in the past, turned out for Old Pens, but overall honours were shared. With Craig Mohring and Dale Norris completing a mobile front row, it ensured that there was plenty of support for the back row of Danny Godfrey, Joel deClaire and Alex Holder. It was, however, the second row of Tom Sidford and Jon Boland who were making the biggest impact with strong runs into opposition territory.
And it was one such run from Boland, supported by deClaire, that resulted in a Jonathan Crimp penalty. Penarthians' lead was, however, shortlived when a potential attack out of defence led to loss of possession in a tackle, and the Joes turned the movement into an unconverted try at the corner.
After 25 minutes, the lead was restored after another attacking move led by Craig Haines and Norris resulted in a scrum within the visiting 22. The scrum was secured, allowing deClaire to break blind before passing to scrum-half Gareth Clancey who released Richie Moir to score in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful.
Almost immediately from the restart, a further infringement by the visitors saw Crimp slot home a goal from 35m. There was, however, still time for St Joseph's to pressurise the home team try line and, with the forwards in control, they crashed over for an unconverted try and a half time score of 11-10 to the home team.
The second half was, however, not so successful as St Joseph's made use of the wind and disruptions caused to the Old Pens' line up by injuries and scored three more unconverted tries to win 25-10. It is hoped that Holder will recover quickly from his broken thumb and that Crimp’s knee injury will not be too severe.
The next outing for the 1st XV is the annual Boxing Day fixture against Penarth which will be played at the Athletic Field with an 11.30am kick off.