THE Seasiders’ recent revival is officially on hold after a match away to the leagues leaders where they were up against it well before kick-off.

A problem which was already apparent before the pre-season finally caught up with Penarth in the 16th game of the campaign as they finally ran out of props. A combination of injuries, absences and departures foiled the best efforts of the club and they had to take the field with two hookers and a flanker in the front row.

This meant uncontested scrums from the outset, leaving the back row bound and unable to deal with attacking scrums and a small matter of no replacements. No matter how well the team performed, it was always going to be hard going against a team at the top of the table.

As it turned out, the Cilfynydd back division duly had their field day, running in six tries, but the Seasiders gave an excellent account of themselves, fighting hard and scoring two tries of their own.

Cilfynydd were chiefly concerned with running up the four tries they needed for the bonus point and it was to Penarth’s credit that it took them 35 to clear this hurdle. Neat work from attacking lines-out in the 14th and 18th minutes saw left wing Ian Wride register a brace. The Seasiders, meanwhile, were coming up with attacking moves of their own, but having to deal with the home side’s preference for the ‘Irish maul’ in slowing down possession.

Smart handling of the back of a scrum on the home 10 metre line brought a try for loose head prop Liam Bodman on 27 minutes and replacement Sam Prosser made sure of the try bonus on 35 minutes from a catch-and-drive. At this point Penarth glittered briefly and who else would it but Richie Bowen ripping through two lines of defence and punching through to the try-line after another three phases.

The second half saw the Seasiders coming into the game much more and an early line-break form Chris Mortimer nearly led to a try by a side-stepping James Crothers. A lengthy siege of the Cilfynydd line raised hopes, but a stray pass allowed the hosts to break out from their 22 and right wing Reagan Prior completed the score at the other end of the pitch.

The final quarter was just plain weird, with both sides puzzled by the arbitrary nature of some decisions, but Cilfynydd ran in their sixth try with 15 minutes remaining, despite Penarth arguably dominating proceedings. The Seasiders finally got their reward on the stroke of full time as Chris Mortimer capped a determined personal performance with a try following a brief siege.

Penarth welcome local rivals St.Peters to the Athletic Field in a fortnight and with six games remaining, every league point is now essential. Although the Seasiders are 11 points above the relegation places, Llantwit Fardre have three games in hand, so the two games between the sides will be critical.

PENARTH Tom Smith, Ben Hill, Owain Lord, Chris Mortimer, James Crothers, James Docherty, Tom Hillman, Scott Mackie, Iwan Baker, Mason Good, Matt Allen, Nick Davenport, Alex Thau©, Miles Jones, Richie Bowen

Scorers: Richie Bowen (try), Chris Mortimer (try), James Docherty (2 conversions).

Division 2 East Central

Saturday 3rd March 2018

PENARTH v St.Peters

The Athletic Field, Lavernock Road

Kick-off 2.30pm

Swalec League Division 2 (East Central)

Saturday, February 17

P W D L F A Pts

1 Cilfynydd 17 13 1 3 411 318 62

4 Gilfach Goch 13 11 1 1 355 164 52

2 Cambrian Welfare 14 10 0 4 374 135 50

3 Barry 14 11 0 3 317 233 50

6 Llanishen 16 8 0 8 312 359 40

5 Aberdare 14 7 0 7 356 283 39

7 Cardiff Quins 13 5 1 7 302 299 34

8 St Peters 14 5 2 7 273 287 31

9 PENARTH 16 5 0 11 310 487 27

10 CRC Caerdydd 16 4 1 11 277 383 26

11 Llantwit Fardre 13 3 0 10 196 300 16

12 Abercynon 15 3 0 12 238 459 15