LAST Saturday saw the Penarth RFC youth team return to the Penarth Athletic field for only the second home game this season and earn a solid victory over local rivals Llandaff RFC Youth.

With a re-scheduled early kick off and a glorious sunny day, conditions were perfect for the game and allowed the Penarth boys to move the ball around with great effect from the start.

Llandaff arrived with a large squad of players and an equally large pack, which at times the Penarth eight had difficulty in holding back in the set scrum, however, Penarth hooker Tom Griffiths gave his usual solid performance up front and with assistance of his fellow front row players of Liam Richards and Matt Hocking who managed to just hold the Llandaff drive sufficiently for Griffiths to hook the ball back and allow the ball to be fed to the Penarth backs by scrum half Gruff Shewring to attack the Llandaff back line.

It was off the set piece lineout that Penarth managed to make their first progress into the Llandaff 22 and following a infringement by the visiting team, it allowed outside half Harry Williams to kick an early penalty to take Penarth into a three point lead. This was repeated five minutes later when good play by second row Alex Shore and flanker Ellis Smith earned a second penalty on the Llandaff 10m line which was slotted over by Williams to increase the lead to 6-0.

As this was a friendly fixture, the Llandaff team coaches had requested that the game was held over three 20 minute periods in order for them to try new players to their squad, and in the second 20 minute period it was the Penarth boys who started to dominate the broken play with some surging runs from centres Toby Dyer and George Roberts making huge yardage into the Llandaff half, which resulted in the first try of the game going to full back Luc Kean-Adams. With the conversion by Williams the score moved to Penarth 13-0 Llandaff.

With rolling subs for the game, it saw returning university players Josh James at prop and Morgan Rees at scrum half to be brought on and their physical presence allowed both the set scrum to challenge the Llandaff pack and assist with a real threat around the break down area which gave the backs more time on the ball to attack. With support from second row Rhys Holmes doing some good work in the breakdown area and the ever present openside flanker Tom Marsh, it allowed the ball to be moved at pace through the hands and good linking between Ellis Smith and wing Mike Halligan on the wing, saw Halligan cross over for another converted try, taking the score to 20 -0.

A great fight back by the Llandaff squad saw them pull back a try and again great defensive work, in particular by Penarth number eight Sam Sullivan stopped a surge by the visiting team before the end of the second period to keep the score at 20 -5.

It was Penarth however that continued to dominate the last and final period, with scrum half Morgan Rees charging down a kick from the Llandaff outside half in his 22 metre area and then being impeded from scoring a try, which resulted in the referee awarding a penalty try under the posts and move the score to 27-5.

With further changes during the period which saw Gruff Shewring returning to the pitch and Dan Anderton replacing Marsh on the flank Penarth continued to move the ball well through the hands to winger Cai Lloyd who again made some great runs on the blind side to keep the pace and momentum of the game in Penarth's favour. In the last 10 minutes it saw great support play from hooker Griffiths which saw him scoring under the posts and with a consolation try going to the Llandaff boys the final score ended as Penarth 34 Llandaff 10.

With new players arriving in Llandaff, there is no doubt that this will be a closer fixture when the two teams meet again at Penarth just before Christmas.