PENARTH made their debut at Welfare Park in the rarefied atmosphere high above Clydach Vale last Saturday and made a determined effort to break their recent losing run before falling away again to late tries.

They started with a bit of an eye-opener, as Cambrian knocked on a tapped penalty and the Seasiders drove upfield from the scrum. Rich Bowen made a dart left into the 22, releasing James Docherty coming in on an angle and dummying over under the posts.

Penarth were looking satisfyingly keen, but the Welfare came back strongly with a jinking run by their dangerously quick full-back. Having side-stepped the last defender, he lunged for the line only to be nailed by a superb tackle from a late-arriving Tom Smith. Minutes later, the dose was repeated and although Smith again had him covered, a short pass to the inside centre brought the equalising try after 20 minutes.

The Seasiders fell behind four minutes later as badly-organised defence at a line-out on their own 22 allowed Cambrian to drive over. To their credit, Penarth dominated the remainder of the half, but the one clear-cut chance they carved out ended with a handling error deep in the Welfare 22.

The hosts aimed to make a mark on the restart and several fierce drives found their full-back tight up against the left-hand touchline with two defenders on his case who were left clutching at thin air as sheer pace took him clear for the score.

Still only trailing 17-7, the Seasiders had to ride out a spell of intense pressure before recovering to gain a penalty in the Cambrian half as the hosts’ blindside flanker departed with a yellow card. The home side were offside from the line-out and Docherty converted to bring the deficit down to a single score with half-an-hour to play.

Although the Welfare were soon to lose a second player to the bench, the initiative swung back and forth between the sides and the outcome didn’t become clear until the 72nd minute. Cam’s openside flanker made the line-break on half-way and fed his left wing who switched on the afterburners and sailed over.

They attacked immediately from the restart and a text-book handling move set the full-back loose down the left flank for the fifth try. Penarth finished the game camped out in the home 22 as several scoring attempts failed and the Cambrian hooker claimed his side’s third yellow of the afternoon.

The home side weren’t exactly flattered by the scoreline, but the game was a lot closer than suggested and the Seasiders really needed to have exploited the yellow cards in the middle of the second half. Next Saturday’s visitors to the Athletic Field are Cilfynydd, who this week defeated Llantwit Fardre 18-0 to move up to third in the table.

PENARTH Tom Smith, Ben Hill (James Crothers), Owain Lord (Chris Mortimer), Rhys Beynon, Tom Luck [C], James Docherty, Rhys Morgan (Alex Fulton), Sean O’Sullivan, Mason Good, Alan Doyle, Dan Seal, Owen Thomas, Miles Jones (Owain George), Nick Davenport, Rich Bowen

Scorers: James Crothers (Try, Conversion and Penalty)