PERHAPS a cup run wasn’t anywhere near the top of the Seasiders’ shopping list this season, but that only goes part of the way to explaining this error-strew display. Visitors Llanharan were equally prone to messing things up, but had a knack of exploiting their opponents’ poor judgement.

The plan was clearly to test the Black and Blues with James Docherty’s kicking game. An early chip ahead was followed up by Leon Appiah to make the tackle and secure a penalty for a 3-0 lead.

The visitors’ pack were giving early indications that there was no point getting into an arm-wrestle with them and every time they got field position, it spelled trouble.

They moved into the lead after 17 minutes after hooker Sam Llewellyn was mauled over in the corner, but Penarth went through the phases from the restart and pulled it back to 6-5 with a second penalty from Docherty.

Then it was Llanharan’s turn to pick and drive their way up the middle, where a sweet slip pass to Roy Furnival saw the inside centre slice clan through and all the way to the line.

The little bit of good news was that the visitors hadn’t brought a kicker with them, so the Seasiders only trailed 6-10.

That’s not to say they were having all the fun themselves as a missed penalty was followed by an interception by outside centre Lloyd Thomas.

Appiah caught him after a length-of-the-field chase, but too late to prevent the third try.

Although trailing 6-15, Penarth were still well in the game and spent the remainder of the half in a lengthy siege which failed to yield any score until the last move as a catch-and-drive took Rob Rees over in the corner to reduce the arrears to two points.

The third quarter belonged to Penarth, as the Black and Blues handling game showed flashes of brilliance and then fell apart altogether.

Errors of judgment on the part of the home side prevented any solid advantage until Docherty obliged with by taking the points from 56th minute penalty for a 16-15 lead.

The Seasiders were now totally bossing it in the tight and Llanharan seemed to have few answers, but an outbreak of white line fever prevented any further score until the 67th minute when a brief spell of concentration on the job in hand resulted in a driven scrum and a classic number eight’s try from Miles Jones.

Two scores up and 13 minutes to play should have meant that Penarth had the tie in the bag and this certainly might have been the case had they not rested on their laurels and conceded three (3) tries in a row.

Finding the hosts totally asleep from the restart, the visitors claimed precious field position and scrum-half Craig Burton went over in the corner. 23-20.

With five minutes to go and the Seasiders fully awake again, Owain Lord’s kick ahead took a deflection and Llanharan put it through the hands from their own half for replacement Richard Byres to score and add the extras. 23-27.

Penarth spent the last five minutes frantically trying to retrieve the situation, but a weird combination of total domination and errors again denied them a score.

The final move of the match was a turnover under the Black and Blues’ posts, which was kicked upfield.

Three Llanharan backs simply surged past frantically turning Penarth defenders and left wing Liam Roberts finished off the afternoon with his side’s sixth try.

The Seasiders have so much to build on here, as well as plenty for the coaches to get their teeth into and next Saturday’s visit to Clwb Rygbi Cymru Caerdydd is an ideal opportunity to show what they’ve learned.

Penarth: George Roberts, Leon Appiah, Owain Lord, Andy Richards (Kevin Maddox), James Crothers, James Docherty, Rhys Morgan ©, Geraint Williams, Tom Griffiths (Mason Good), Alan Doyle (Ryan Jones), Andy Lang (Rob Rees), Alex Shore, Matt Allen, Miles Jones, Sam Davies

Scorers: Rob Rees (try), Miles Jones (try), James Docherty (3 pen, 2 conv).

Division 3 East Central A

Saturday 28th September 2019

Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd v PENARTH

Llandaff Fields, 16 Fairleigh Ct, Cardiff CF11 9HY

Kick-off 2.30 pm