Seasiders on a roll for third spot
12:02pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in Penarth sport
TOWERING DISPLAY: Richard Ball, who gave another towering performance in Penarth's second row on Saturday, reaches for Joe Page's throw-in leading to Penarth's fifth try.
PENARTH RFC 1st XV 32pts
PORTH HARLEQUINS 12
THIS time round, the Seasiders are starting to look like the genuine article. Not the finished product, by any means, but way more than enough to see off an energetic Porth side who clearly had greater ambitions.
An early Mike Hurley penalty eased the hosts in front, but the Harlequins struck back immediately as full-back Greg Morris broke clean through with his wing in support and only James Candy to beat, completing the formalities for the visitors to lead 3-7 after 10 minutes.
Penarth these days also know how to strike back and, as Porth touched a long clearance in flight, the resulting line-out was expertly driven and Richard Ball was the scorer for an 8-7 lead.
As the Seasiders piled on the pressure, there was a delay as Mike Gubb received treatment, but the hiatus didn’t affect the momentum and the re-set scrum was walked over for a Mike Clare try.
The rest of the half was a scrappy affair, mainly due to the dreadful weather and errors abounded as the rain pounded in. Penarth remained fully in control throughout and, on the verge of half-time, Richard Merrett peeled off a scrum and was stopped just short of the line. The resulting five-metre scrum was driven and then abruptly stopped as Porth took it down and referee Elwyn Marfel-Jones headed straight between the posts to award a penalty try.
Leading 20-7 at the start of the second half, with the Athletic Field bathed in unexpected sunshine, the Seasiders were naturally keen to move things along, but things didn’t run smoothly and it was fully 18 minutes before they were able to drive a 10-metre line-out, with the irrepressible Joe Page recording his fourth try of the season and bringing up the bonus point.
At this point, with the Seasiders leading 27-7, Porth rather pointlessly pulled the usual stunt of removing a prop and asking for uncontested scrums; at least the third time this season this has happened. No doubt the cost of having a dominant scrum; well done the Penarth 8, I suppose.
While this relieved the pressure on the Porth pack and allowed their stylish backs the sort of possession they hadn’t seen for most of the match, it was the Seasiders who inevitably struck next and a fine handling movement from a line-out ended with James Docherty crashing over near the opposite corner.
Right wing Grostock was worked in at the corner for a consolation try for the visitors and then Porth outside-half Josh Worthington was dismissed for a high tackle on Candy as the full-back threatened to break clean though and the game finished on a 32-12 scoreline and Penarth rising to third place.
Next Saturday the Seasiders welcome Division 2 E Rhydfelen to the Athletic Field in the first round of the Swalec Plate, while a week later a mouthwatering trip to second-placed Wattstown awaits.
PENARTH: James Candy, Chris Mortimer, Mike Hurley, Michael Gubb, James Crothers, James Thatcher, Rhys Morgan (Owain George), Richard Merrett, (James Docherty), Joe Page, Sean O’Sullivan, Richard Ball, Stuart Clarke, Geraint Blake, Mike Clare and Matt Sutton.
Swalec Plate (Round 1) - Saturday, October 26 - PENARTH v Rhydfelen,
The Athletic Field, Lavernock Road; kick-off 2.30pm