Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd 24 - Penarth RFC 25

THIS game was never as close as it was at the final whistle. With both sides struggling to find consistent form this season, each score came as a bit of a surprise and none more so than the winning try.

The first half was eminently forgettable, except for some bizarre interventions on the part of the referee.

Clwb Rygbi took an early lead with a penalty and Penarth RFC 'Seasiders', while failing to exploit a number of scoring opportunities, took until the 27th minute to equalise with a Tom Smith penalty.

Clwb had been trying the referee’s patience for a while and he soon consigned their number eight to the bin and Smith moved Penarth into the lead.

The visitors made most of the running up to half-time, but when an Alex Thau surge to half-way broke down for lack of support, Clwb Rygbi counter attacked, but with little real pattern until their left wing found a gap.

Gareth Mathias caught him on the line, but he reached out to touch down, putting his side into a 10 - 6 lead at the break.

The hosts made a spirited start to the second half and the 'Seasiders' found themselves back-pedalling.

Despite gaining a couple of penalties, they couldn’t relieve the pressure and Clwb’s outside centre was put through a gap to score under the posts.

It was already beginning to look grim for Penarth as they trailed by 11 points.

Just as Clwb seemed to have taken a decisive grip on the game, the 'Seasiders' briefly woke from their slumbers and gained a toe-hold in the opposition 22 when replacement outside half Nathan Smith drilled a penalty into touch.

A ferocious line out drive took Mason Good to a touch down in the corner and the converted try pulled the score back to 17 - 13.

Clwb could see the writing on the wall and came back strongly.

Penarth lost a player to the bin and found themselves under immense pressure.

They held out bravely for some considerable time, but as the match approached its last 10 minutes, the hosts finally broke through as their scrum half squeezed through a gap and under the posts.

Again leading by 11 points, Clwb couldn’t have seen what was coming, any more than the 'Seasiders' probably could at the time.

With another five metre line out, Penarth clearly fancied the catch-and-drive, but the referee took exception to something Clwb had been up to as the throw went in.

While the hosts were still pondering their misfortune, Alex Thau tapped quickly and went over in the corner.

Although the conversion was missed, there were still six minutes remaining and six points separating the teams.

All the late pressure was coming from a rejuvenated 'Seasiders' as they laid siege in the Clwb 22.

A last-gasp penalty was clearly not going to be kicked and the scrum option was taken.

With the clock running down and a couple of thrusts to the line, Aaron Ellis crashed over from a couple of metres and Penarth had completed a remarkable come-back.

Rising to eighth on the table, they now welcome sixth placed Gilfach Goch to the Athletic Field next Saturday, kick-off at 2.30pm.

The visitors have also secured four wins and beat Llantrisant 33 - 11 last Saturday.

Penarth: Rhys Morgan (Huw Elias), Paul Collett, James Crothers, Tom Smith, James Thatcher, Tom Smith (Nathan Smith), Gareth Mathias, Jerome Bryan (Richard Merrett), Mason Good (James Docherty), Alan Doyle, Matt Allen, Anthony Pine (Aaron Ellis), Scott Mackie, Elliott Smith, Alex Thau

Scorers: Mason Good, Alex Thau, Aaron Ellis (tries), Tom Smith (two penalties), Nathan Smith (two conversions)

National League Division 2 (East Central)

P W D L F A Pts

1 Dinas Powys 9 6 0 3 245 148 32

2 Llantrisant 8 7 0 1 192 134 30

3 St Peters 9 7 0 2 174 119 29

4 Barry 8 5 0 3 201 154 24

5 Aberdare 9 4 1 4 207 179 24

6 Gilfach Goch 9 4 0 5 188 191 21

7 Llanishen 8 4 0 4 133 155 18

8 PENARTH 9 4 0 5 149 224 16

9 Abercynon 9 3 1 5 123 166 16

10 Pontyclun 8 2 1 5 132 186 15

11 CRC Caerdydd 9 2 1 6 192 217 13

12 Old Illtydians 9 2 0 7 142 213 12