IT MAKES for a fascinating game of rugby when the conditions are awful, the third-placed opposition aren’t quite as good as they think they are and the Seasiders absolutely want this win.

Cilfynydd won the toss and opted to take first use of the howling gale blowing straight up the pitch towards the town end. The opening minutes nevertheless belonged to Penarth as handling errors allowed Miles Jones to run the ball out of his own 22 and the move only broke down with a knock-on at the other end of the pitch.

Now Cil realised they’d have to work for it and gained a penalty back on the home 22. This was tapped and after two drives to the line passed wide for inside centre Sam Edwards to go over in the corner. Almost from the restart the visitors made good use of the wind to secure a line-out in the Penarth 22 and although Dan Seal stole the throw, the Cilfynydd pack burst through and Edwards strolled through two missed tackles to cross under the posts.

With 25 minutes to go until half-time, the sole advantage for the Seasiders was the visitors’ taste for infringing at the breakdown. This allowed the hosts to make progress and they found Rich Bowen in space on the left wing. The flanker was stopped just short, but the next scrum was driven to the line before James Docherty picked up and dived over.

Now heavy rain was added to the wind as the Seasiders calmly took control. Tom Luck made a clean break down the right flank and Rhys Morgan, taking the inside pass and looking for support all the way, crossed under the posts to put his side into the lead 14-12.

Penarth needed to maintain the pressure at the beginning of the second half and did just that as Cilfynydd failed to make any progress against the wind. From a ruck on the visitors’ 22, Bowen wriggled free with the ball and out-paced the cover to claim the third try and a 21-12 lead after 50 minutes.

Having set up the win, the Seasiders still had to deal with several challenges in the remaining half hour. It finally dawned on Cilfynydd that they were heading for defeat if they didn’t do something about it and they exploited a string of penalties in their favour before working the ball to Edwards for his hat-trick after 62 minutes.

Penarth came back strongly with a clean line-break from Bowen and Docherty converted the penalty on 66 minutes to lead 24-17. The remainder of the match was all about Penarth yellow cards, injuries and all-out aggressive defence. Then a cliff-hanger running into a lengthy injury-time before the referee finally blew the whistle after 45 minutes to the delight of team and fans alike. The Seasiders have now risen to the dizzy heights of 11th in the table and the next four fixtures have a rather attractive look to them, starting with an away game at Minster Road against St.Peters a week on Saturday.

Penarth: Tom Smith (Ben Hill), Rhys Lord (Owain Lord), Rhys Beynon, Tom Luck [C], James Crothers, James Docherty, Rhys Morgan, Sean O’Sullivan (Dave Thomas), Mason Good, Alan Doyle, Owen Thomas, Dan Seal (Chris Mortimer), Miles Jones, Rich Bowen (Owain George) Scorers: James Docherty (Try, 3 Conversions and 1 Penalty), Rhys Morgan (Try), Rich Bowen (Try)