GOOD Friday at Penarth RFC has always provided entertaining rugby to the residents of the town and last Friday was no exception when the Penarth RFC Youth team gained a storming victory over visitors Bath RFC Colts running out 36-21 winners.

On a glorious sunny day at the Athletic field, which saw a crowd of nearly 1,000 people turn up to support the Penarth boys, the home team managed to scored 6 tries to Baths 3 in a try fest that entertained the large crowd.

The Bath team who were playing their last game as Colts before moving on to senior rugby in England, came over with a squad of 24 players, including 6 from the strong Bath Rugby Academy, determined to put on a good show and go out on a high.

It was the Bath boys that made all the running from the kick off, utilising their back row to hit up and make inroads into the Penarth Youth defensive line.

It was only 5 minutes into the game when pressure from Bath in the break down, led to several penalties being awarded against Penarth players and from a set piece scrum they moved the ball wide to see the Bath centre step round the Penarth defence and open up the scoring. With the conversion sailing over, it was Bath that took the early lead 0-7.

Words of encouragement and advice from the Penarth coaches behind the post about defensive structure saw the Penarth boys immediately re-align, and it was Penarth that struck back after 20 minutes on the clock when a great break from blindside flanker Hugh Leach surged play into the Bath 22m.

Swift off loading from the Penarth back line saw wing Mike Halligan touch down in the corner to open up the Penarth scoring. With the try unconverted it stood at 5 -7.

With the Penarth boys now realising the strength of Bath, it took a further 12 minutes when a penalty kick by outside half Drew Musa, landed the boys 5m from the Bath line.

From the ensuing line out, some great phases of play from the Penarth forwards, led by hooker and captain Tom Griffiths, saw a surge from the Penarth second rows of Alex Shore and Owain Jones to give prop Geraint Williams the room to smash over the line from 2m out to take the score into half time at Penarth 10 Bath 7.

Half time saw the Penarth team re-group and concentrate on trying to bring the Penalty count down, which stood at 8 penalties against them from the referee during the first half, and play through the phases to create more attacking wide ball opportunities.

It was Bath however, that struck back first in the second half, seeing the lead exchange again, when a neat chipped ball over the Penarth back line saw the Bath full back re gather and score under the posts to take the visitors into a 10 -14 point lead.

With changes to the Penarth back row and back line at half time, the talent of Wales under 18's international Evan Lloyd, brought on at number 8, started to shine through, and with Bath being driven backwards, it was an opportunity of the new half back pairing of Aled Rees and Joe Williams to take control of the game.

With 8 minutes gone of the second half, a great run from centre Aron Arthur broke down on the Bath 22m line and from the phased play off the ruck, it was ever present openside flanker Thaine Baker who reached over in the corner to score a try. A thumping conversion kick from Williams saw the ball sail through the posts and Penarth regained the lead at 17 -14.

Penarth now started to dominate play, with surging runs coming from Lloyd and young prop Connor Mitchell which put the Bath boys on the back foot. As the Penarth team started to exploit the gaps in the Bath defence, it was centre Matthew Frost who hit up between the defensive line to score Penarth's fourth try and take them to a 22-14 lead.

The pressure continued to grow on Bath and more changes from the Penarth bench brought on more strength in the forwards and backs to continue to exploit the Bath defensive line. It eventually gave way 6 minutes later, when Evan Lloyd, supported by Flanker Rhys Powell, stepped over from a Penarth ruck to score. With the conversion landed it took Penarth into a strong 29 -14 lead.

It was Lloyd again who struck on the 30th minute when a break from the Penarth 22m by scrum half Aled Rees, saw the ball kicked ahead and then gathered by the Bath full back on the opposite 22m line only to be caught and held up by Penarth wing Mike Halligan. Bath lost possession, and to the delight of the large home crowd, Lloyd surged over the line to see off the game and take Penarth into an unassailable lead of 36 -14.

Bath did manage to pull a consolation try in the very last seconds of the game, when a neat step from the bath outside half saw him score under the posts. The final score was Penarth RFC Youth 36 Bath RFC Colts 21.

It was a hugely successful day for the Penarth club, which saw an appreciative large crowd watch some great rugby from both sides.

The Penarth RFC Youth section would like to thank the many helpers from the club who made the game possible, including match sponsors Martin Price from the Waterfront Dental Surgery, Beacon Printers, Morgan Consult, Andy Coslett of Cozart for the publicity artwork and club historian Chris Thau.

Photos show the and Penarth RFC Youth coaches with Kit sponsor Martin Price of the Waterfront Dental Surgery - Coaches L to R are; Phil Musa, Simon Rees, Martin Price (Sponsor), Dai Williams and Huw Wiltshire with new warm up tops