Penarth RFC Youth hit back with away league win

LAST Saturday saw Penarth RFC Youth returned to winning form with a close 13-5 victory away to Aberdare RFC Youth in the Blues Premier League.

After overnight torrential rain, an early morning inspection passed the Aberdare pitch as playable and the Penarth boys travelled up the A470 to play a well contested game between the two teams.

The pitch was firm under foot which suited both teams to move the ball well through both sets of backs, however, it was Penarth that dominated the play up front, where the front five of Matt Hocking, Connor Mitchel, Tom Griffiths, Alex shore and Owain Jones dominated the Aberdare pack both in the scrum and lineout.

The possession gained by the Penarth pack allowed the Penarth back line, controlled through Joe Williams at outside half, to attack the Aberdare try line on several occasions in the first 20 minutes of the game. This resulted in the Penarth boys crossing the Aberdare try line on two occasions only to be called back by the referee after he was unsighted for the grounding of the ball.

The Aberdare defence was resilient and held out the Penarth attack until 23 minutes, when after several infringements in their 22m, Penarth outside half Williams took the option for goal and slotted the first of his teams penalty kicks to give them the lead.

Despite dominating the play, which saw Aberdare camped in their own half for most of the first half, the Penarth boys could not convert the play into points, frustratingly loosing the ball close to the line or dropping vital passes, in try scoring opportunities in their eagerness to open up a commanding lead.

It meant that at half-time, despite the possession and territorial advantage, the Penarth boys only had a slender 3 point lead.

Words of advice at the break from coaches Dai Williams, Huw Wiltshire and Simon Rees on not rushing and trying to create phases of play, saw the Penarth boys start the second half less frantic and once again dominate the set play which resulted in great runs from centres Matt Frost and Aron Arthur, releasing the Penarth wingers Cai Lloyd and Morgan Jenkins to make great yardage.

After 15 minutes of the second half, the Aberdare forwards were eventually penalised for being off their feet at a ruck after a dazzling counter attack by Penarth full back Luc Kean-Adams, who having gathered the ball from a kick on his 22m line, cut through the Aberdare defence to take play back into the Aberdare half.

It was Penarth outside half Williams that again stepped up to calm play by slotting a great kick from 40metres out.

This seemed to calm the nerves of the Penarth boys and they started to play their patterns of play with the back row of Ryan Allen, Thaine Baker and Cameron Sultana making good ground.

It was only four minutes later when Penarth Youth scored again, when a well taken line out saw the ball moved by scrum half Gruff Shewring to outside half Williams who put centre Aron Arthur into space and a chip ahead by the outside centre saw Williams gather the ball and sprint to score under the posts. Converting his own try it took the score to 13-0.

The Penarth boys continued to dominate play and should have probably added to the score line on several occasions, however, to Aberdare's credit their well organised drift defence held out well and it was the home team that picked up a loosing bonus point when they scored an unconverted try in the last play of the game.

Joe Williams picked up all of Penarth Youth's points and the man of the match award. His side moved up a place in the league