Penarth 11 Cowbridge 17

It was hard to put your finger on it, but there was always that feeling that the Seasiders wouldn’t end up as winners this time, no matter what actually happened in the 80 minutes.

The 80 minutes proved to be an under-estimate, as even the first half stretched to 50.

The one thing we didn’t see was anything like a repeat of the corresponding earlier fixture at the Broad Shoard which featured 89 points and 13 tries; this was an altogether more industrial affair.

Penarth fielded a side with marked differences to the one which had performed so credibly up at Tylorstown and there was a distinct lack of fluency, but neither were the visitors the free-flowing 8 try outfit we saw in September.

The physical side of the visitors’ game was soon on show and the Seasiders edged into a narrow lead after 15 minutes with a Tom Smith penalty, but this didn’t last long as a now characteristic lapse of concentration allowed lock Jack Anderson to go over from a tapped penalty.

Penarth soon regained the lead with another Smith penalty and embarked on a spell of expansive play led by Spencer Robinson.

They came agonisingly close to a try from one of his breaks, but the majority of marginal decisions seemed to be going Cowbridge’s way, which meant that the visitors were finding it easier to obtain field position.

Then a glaring defensive error on the part of the Seasiders unnecessarily opened a gaping hole in midfield through which number 8 Reuben Tucker strolled before putting outside-half in for an unimpeded dash to the posts.

The second half opened with a sustained period of Cowbridge pressure, which was thankfully met by consistent defensive excellence by Penarth.

A Smith solo break-out almost led to a try, but at the hour mark the Seasiders launched a more co-ordinated assault with Robinson doing most of the work and a penalty just short of the try-line was tapped and converted into a try by the scrum half.

With the score sitting at 11-12, it was clearly anyone’s game, but yet another soft try passed the initiative decisively to Cowbridge on 64 minutes as a scrum on the edge of the Penarth 22 produced quick ball for the visitors and the simplest of tries for wing Rhydian Williams who went over, again unimpeded, in the corner.

This coming Saturday the Seasiders travel to Pontyclun.

The corresponding fixture back in October resulted in a 21-32 victory for the visitors towards the end of Penarth’s six-defeat opening to the league season.

The result was dominated by soft tries conceded to the Badgers, rather than an otherwise excellent performance by the Seasiders.

Penarth: Tom Smith, Ben Hill, George Roberts, Rhys Morgan ©, James Crothers, James Docherty, Spencer Robinson, Sean O’Sullivan (Richard Merrett), Mason Good (Iwan Baker), Dave Thomas (Harry Wood), Andy Lang (Josh Spragg), Harrison Pugsley, Jack Hughes (Alex Fulton), Alex Thau, Chris Mortimer.

Division 3 East Central A

Saturday 19thJanuary 2019

Pontyclun v PENARTH

Llantrisant Road, Pontyclun CF72 9DQ

Kick-off 2.30pm

Swalec League Division 3 (East Central) A

Saturday 19th January 2019

P W D L F A Pts

1 Fairwater 11 10 0 1 237 86 45

2 Cowbridge 12 9 1 2 287 170 44

3 Old Illtydians 11 7 0 4 257 268 34

4 Treharris 7 6 0 1 195 123 28

5 Tylorstown 8 5 0 3 166 131 25

6 Pontyclun 8 5 0 3 165 182 23

7 Penygraig 10 5 0 5 195 168 23

9 PENARTH 12 3 0 9 265 333 21

8 Pentyrch 8 4 0 4 202 159 20

10 Gwernyfed 13 2 1 10 228 326 15

11 Clwb Rygbi CC 8 2 0 6 165 195 12

12 Cefn Coed 10 0 0 10 125 336 2