A CLINICAL performance from Penarth last weekend brought a much needed victory and five points as they battle to retain their status as s Division 3A East Central side for next season.

Yes victory came against a side who have tasted defeat in all 15 of their previous league matches, and yes it was far from a faultless performance but it was a must win game and whilst not perfect it was a comprehensive result which will boost confidence going into the remaining fixtures.

The pre-match talk was all about confidence in your own ability and doing the right thing in the right areas.

Unfortunately there was a little too much of the former and not enough of the latter in the first 20 minutes as Penarth proceeded to play fast flowing rugby from all over the park but kept coughing up possession and territory to a Cefn Coed side who were making up in effort what they clearly lacked in ability.

The result was that the home side were able to find field position and take an early 5-0 lead as their big forward pack rumbled over in the corner.

Once Penarth had realised that an element of structure was all that was required to break down the enthusiastic home defence progress started to be made.

In particular second rows Anthony Pine and, man of the match, Matt Allen started to make serious in-roads and the running lines of Owain Lord and Rhys Beynon were causing serious headaches for the Cefn defence.

However, Beynon soon found himself on the sidelines as his response to a forward pass call was less polite than the referee expected and he was given 10 minutes to consider his choice of words.

Despite that set back Penarth took control of the match and from a penalty they set up field position and unusually efficient lineout set up a rolling maul from which Harry Wood sprang loose to bulldoze his way over for Penarth’s opening score. Skipper Rhys Morgan added the extras and Penarth were into a lead that they never relinquished.

The second try came shortly after and was a breathless affair, after a number of phases inside their own half Matt Allen burst loose, the ball was moved wide where Owain Lord breached the scattered defensive line before feeding Kevin Maddox who strained every sinew to dot the ball down over the whitewash.

A knee injury for Pine just before half time and a momentary lapse of concentration saw Cefn Coed kick a penalty to send the sides in at 14-8 but Penarth were in control.

The first 10 minutes of the second period were scrappy but Penarth soon moved into gear.

A succession of penalties saw them move into the home 22 and Richie Bowen, on to replace Pine, burrowed over after yet more good work from Chris Mortimer in the lineout. Morgan adding his third conversion to stretch the lead to 13 points.

Injury returnees Alan Doyle and James Docherty replaced Ryan Jones and Kevin Maddox respectively and the former made an immediate impact as he stampeded down the left wing for 40 metres before being hauled down agonisingly short of the line.

But Penarth were not to be denied and shortly afterwards a flowing backs move saw Jimmy Crothers break through and when the ball was recycled some swift hands saw Bowen claim his second of the afternoon and the all-important bonus point.

Cefn Coed did not relent and a sustained period of pressure in the Penarth 22 looked like it may get them back into the game.

However, the Penarth defence held firm and some significant interventions from Mason Good and Beynon snuffed out the attack and allowed Penarth to relieve the pressure.

There was still time for one more score as a loose clearing kick from Cefn Coed was collected by Wood who fed Docherty, the fly half sent up a Garryowen which was palmed back into the waiting hands of Roberts who fed Beynon before Lord made yet another break and offloaded back to Beynon for the final try, followed by Docherty’s second conversion.

Whilst not perfect there was plenty of encouraging play and some great performances from the whole squad. Next Saturday sees the Old Illts visit Penarth and the Seasiders will be looking to overturn the 16-15 defeat and take another big step towards safety.

Penarth: H.Wood, M. Good (L. Richards), R. Jones (A. Doyle), A Pine (R.Bowen), M.Allen, J. Spragg, C. Mortimer (R. Rees), M. Jones, R. Morgan (c), K. Maddox (J.Docherty), J. Crothers, R. Beynon, O. Lord, B. Hill, G. Roberts

Scorers: H.Wood (t), K Maddox (t), R. Bowen (2t), R. Beynon (t), R Morgan (3c), J Docherty (2c)