Fairwater 34 Penarth 10

IT’S hard to say if any lessons can be learned from a defeat at Waterhall Park, as is usually the case, except that the Seasiders are still finding it difficult to deal with the levels of, shall we say, intensity that the ‘Water bring to bear.

At least there were no injuries, which is unusual for this fixture.

Penarth toughed it out in the opening minutes, but soon began to lose concentration, turnovers and penalties in the face of the home side’s intimidatory tactics.

They held out until the seventh minute, then conceded a penalty which the hosts swiftly tapped and set the number eight loping down the right flank and behind the posts.

Within seconds of the restart, their lively openside flanker ran clear from the half way line and repeated the dose. Eight minutes gone and the Seasiders were 14-0 down.

The sides exchanger penalties as Penarth finally managed to get hold of some useful field position, but they entered the second quarter, a superb reverse pass on the edge of the 22 sent the openside in for his second.

The referee was struggling to make much sense of the home side’s tactics and one particular opportunity to penalise as the Seasiders drove a maul towards the line was missed, leading directly to Fairwater claiming their fourth try from a scrum at the other end of the field.

With 26 minutes gone and ‘Water firmly in the driving seat and a bonus point under their belts, the referee finally got to grips with their antics and Penarth slowly edged their way back into the game.

Indeed there was no further score for 45 minutes.

The hosts were now shipping penalties by the bucketful, although no yellow cards until the number eight departed just before half-time.

The second half belonged to the Seasiders, scoring 7 points to Fairwater’s 5. Opening with a 40 metre break by James Docherty, then any number of Fairwater infringements, another yellow card, a huge line break from Rhys Beynon and, as late as the 71st minute, a try for the visitors.

Penarth had got a drive on from a scrum in the 22 and although the referee could have justifiably gone between the posts at any time, Elliott Smith saved him the trouble by driving over for the consolation.

All that remained was ten minutes of constant pressure from the Seasiders, interrupted by a single handling error and a breakaway try for the hosts’ inside centre.

No doubt relieved to have got that one over and done with, Penarth face a different kind of challenge next Saturday as they welcome winless bottom club Cefn Coed to the Athletic Field.

Penarth: James Docherty, Ben Hill, James Crothers, Rhys Beynon, Aaron Thomas, Kevin Maddox, Rhys Morgan ©, Richard Merrett (Sean O’Sullivan), Iwan Baker (Ryan Jones), Alan Doyle, Dan Seal, Andy Lang, Alex Fulton (Liam Richards), Elliott Smith, Alex Rigby

Scorers – E.Smith (T), Docherty (P, C)