Pentyrch 27 Penarth 36

THE Seasiders ended their season against Pentyrch last Wednesday with arguably the best performance of the season.

The hosts hadn’t won in a while, so it was quite a surprise when they tore into Penarth from the kick-off and local supporters’ lack of familiarity with some team members suggested that permit players might have been involved.

A scrum penalty allowed the Tyrch's to take an early lead, but the Seasiders struck back almost immediately in characteristic fashion.

Rhys Beynon broke a tackle on the home 22 and wheeled around with Harry Wood in support, the prop completing the score with a short burst.

But it obviously wasn’t going to be that easy. Pentyrch rapidly developed a knack of feeding off errors and despite stout defence from Penarth, their right wing scored in the corner to retake the lead.

The referee had clearly adopted a policy of letting the game flow, but this meant that both sides had to adjust to the fact that some decisions they expected wouldn’t necessarily come their way.

The Seasiders in particular were struggling against an offside defence as they patiently built the phases, but as Harry Williams picked up a stray pass and set Spencer Robinson off down the touchline, it all changed.

The scrum-half’s subtle changes of direction and blistering pace left the defence for dead as he cruised round behind the posts.

Although Penarth were by now making all the running, Pentyrch kept chipping away and picking up points. The went back into the lead 13-12 with 28th minute penalty, then extended this to eight points at half-time lead with a perfectly-executed backs move from a line out.

The Seasiders still looked as if they had things well in hand, but the departure of the Tyrch’s captain with a yellow card at the beginning of the second half gave them impetus.

The home side, despite leading by two scores, were getting niggly.

As Penarth took a scrum against the head, a string of tapped penalties and a Mason Good drive to the line set up a third try as Owain Lord grounded the loose ball.

Now trailing by a single point, the Seasiders took their time conjuring up the bonus point try, but this duly arrived at just past the hour.

After a number of wrong options, Robinson took matters in hand and threw a loop pass out to Harry Williams. The wing set off at pace and squeezed in at the corner, with James Docherty converting from touch.

No sooner had Pentyrch claimed the restart, but Williams snatched a loose pass out of the air and romped home from 60m. Penarth were now sitting on a healthy 33-20 lead, but the 15 minutes remaining and the Tyrch's ability to counter remained a bit of a worry.

Sure enough, the hosts claimed the next restart and stormed into the Seasiders’ 22 before a replacement burst over for the home side’s third try.

Unfazed, Penarth showed admirable composure as their phase play moved the game steadily into Pentyrch’s 22, where a lengthy siege was only interrupted as Docherty was tripped as he made to move the ball wide and his 78th minute penalty extended the lead to nine points. Game over.

This Penarth team featured no new players, indeed no-one who wasn’t on the books at the start of the season.

The fact that it all came together at the very end as they completed a stunning run of six consecutive bonus-point victories, indicates the quality of the squad and is very much to the credit of Matt Bolton and Trystan Davies, whose patience is finally paying off.

Next season should see a continuation of this kind of form and who knows where that might lead.

PENARTH: Rhys Morgan ©, James Crother (George Roberts), Owain Lord, Rhys Beynon, Harry Williams, Kevin Maddox (James Docherty), Spencer Robinson, Harry Wood (Richard Merrett), Mason Good (Iwan Baker), Alan Doyle, Ryan Jones (Thane Baker), Andy Lang, Matt Allen, Miles Jones, Chris Mortimer.

Scorers: Harry Williams (2 tries), Spencer Robinson (try), Harry Wood (try), Owain Lord (try), James Docherty (1 pen, 2 conv), Rhys Morgan (2 conv).