THREE successive bonus-point wins may have lifted the Seasiders above the threat of relegation, but despite similarities in the personnel, this was not the same team that put Old Illtydians joyously to the sword last week.

That’s not to belittle the achievement of securing Division 3 Central A rugby for next season, just that this was a performance short of confidence when facing the team in 11th place.

It all started so well. Penarth dominated the early exchanges.

Despite enjoying practically no possession, they consistently drove the visitors backwards with line-speed and controlled aggression.

An early penalty from James Docherty set the ball rolling, but the Seasiders had developed a nasty habit of turning the ball over in attack before Spencer Robinson decided to take matters in hand with a characteristic side-stepping run to the line after 13 minutes.

This was turning out to be a poor, scrappy game and neither side looked comfortable.

However, when Gwernyfed gained field position in the home 22, a clever chip outside-half James Cocks allowed two of his centres through, with Haydn Murphy completing the score.

Penarth dominated the remainder of the first half, but failed to get any continuity until Docherty landed a long penalty kick in touch on the five-metre line and the drive saw Mason Good score in the corner.

Leading 13-7 at the beginning of the second half, the Seasiders lost no time in losing ground to Gwernyfed as loosehead prop James Brute scored from short range following a line-out.

Now at last Penarth woke up to the simple fact that they were the better side and had all the moves.

Twenty-two unanswered points secured the bonus.

Good work in the three-quarters put immense pressure on the visitors, but indecision in the 22 prevented a further score until Richard Merrett took matters further by barging through two tackles and then taking route one to the posts.

Gwernyfed were now in full defensive mode as the Seasiders battered away. The fourth try arrived on 65 minutes.

Ben Hill skilfully took the hit on halfway, but also took two defenders out as he got the ball away to Rhys Morgan, then Robinson took over with yet another mesmerising zig-zag before a straight run to the posts.

The final phases were all about constant Penarth pressure and Gwernyfed infringement until a tapped penalty in the away 22 was passed out to Matt Allen, who secured the fifth try with a touch-down in the corner.

The Seasiders travel up the Rhondda Fach next Saturday for a rearranged fixture against 5th-placed Tylorstown. This was due to the original game in January being abandoned after 54 minutes when the referee retired hurt with the score standing at 27-22.

Penarth: Rhys Morgan (capt), George Roberts, Owain Lord, Rhys Beynon, Ben Hill, James Crothers (Kevin Maddox), Richard Merrett (Harry Wood), Mason Good (Iwan Baker), Alan Doyle, Matt Allen, Andy Lang, Jack Hughes (Chris Mortimer), Miles Jones, Richie Bowen.

Scorers: Spencer Robinson (2 tries), Matt Allen (1 try), Mason Good (1 try), Richard Merrett (1 try). James Docherty (2 pens, 1 conv), Rhys Morgan (1 conv).

Division 3 East Central A , Saturday 13th April 2019, Tylorstown v Penarth, Penrhys Park, Penrhys Road, Tylorstown CF43 3PN, kick-off 2.30pm.