Penarth 22 Cefn Coed 10

PENARTH welcomed winless bottom club Cefn Coed to a gloomy Athletic Field last Saturday knowing that nothing less than a bonus-point win would fit the bill.

The visitors from north of the Heads of the Valleys amply demonstrated why they’re still looking for a win this season, but also showed an inventive streak in foiling the Seasiders’ attempts to play some rugby and notch up the required four tries.

It didn’t start well either, as Cefn pinned Penarth in their own 22 for ten minutes without ever looking as if they would score.

Then, after the turnover finally arrived, Kevin Maddox put up a towering Garryowen up on his own 10-metre line, collected it near the touchline on the visitors 10-metre and romped home.

The next period was a bit of a learning curve for the pack, as they slowly realised that the referee wasn’t going to allow them to dominate the visitors in the scrum, as every time they pushed them off, they got penalised for pushing early! By the 28th minute they’d worked it out and moved further ahead from a 5-metre line-out.

The throw went to front-jumper Harrison Pugsley and the drive took tight-head Alan Doyle over for his third try of the season.

The second half began in the frustrating fashion already established in the first forty minutes.

The Seasiders had huge difficulty generating any momentum as the referee came up with ever more interesting rule interpretations, but still managed to ease further ahead as Chris Mortimer broke the line and headed over half-way.

The number eight threw a wide pass out towards Rhys Beynon and the centre just managed to grasp it before setting Tom Smith loose with 40 metres to go.

This sort of situation is meat and drink to the full-back and he cruised home.

The 15-point cushion turned out to be no luxury, as the game descended further into chaos. The state of confusion allowed Cefn to pull back not one score, but two. Blindside flanker R.Burke went over from a 10-metre line-out on the hour and an unidentified scorer registered a second with five minutes remaining. Neither try was converted.

To say that the home side found this frustrating would be a huge understatement, as the vital bonus point seemed to be slipping from their grasp.

But they held their nerve and in the very last phase play man of the match Alan Doyle crashed over to secure maximum points.

Penarth have played a lot more games than all the other clubs in the division, but the good news is that they are now 13 points ahead of 11th-placed Gwernyfed and still have to play the Talgarth club twice. Next up is a trip across Cardiff to Moorlands Park to face old rivals Old Illtydians.

The Cardiff club had a burst of form, registering four wins in late September and early October, but have played only once since, a 45-24 defeat away at leaders Cowbridge.

Penarth: Tom Smith, James Crothers, Rhys Beynon (Harry Williams), James Docherty, Aaron Thomas, Kevin Maddox, Rhys Morgan ©, Richard Merrett (Sean O’Sullivan), Liam Richards (Harry Wood), Alan Doyle, Harrison Pugsley, Ryan Jones (Alex Fulton), Josh Spragg (Miles Jones), Chris Mortimer, Alex Rigby

Scorers – Doyle (2T), Maddox (T), T.Smith (T), Docherty (C)

Division 3 East Central A

Saturday 8th December 2018

Old Illtydians v PENARTH

Moorland Park, Singleton Road, Splott CF24

Kick-off 2.30pm