AFTER last week’s disappointment in the Bowl it was back to league action for Penarth this week and a trip to Pontcanna to face old foes Clwb Rygbi.

In a match that could best be described as a “cracker for the neutral” Penarth once again showed glimpses of brilliance mixed in with periods that are best forgotten in edging a 12 try classic.

After an edgy start Penarth got on the front foot and asserted forward dominance that was to last throughout the game, the scrum in particular was in devastating form whilst the lineout was operating efficiently.

This allowed Penarth to establish good field position from which they worked the ball well for Alex Shore to cross for his first 1st team try.

Shortly after Mason Good got in on the act after good yards from James Crothers had split the home defence to extend Penarth’s lead, followed by a James Docherty penalty.

A lapse of concentration and a ragged kick chase allowed Clwb back in as their backs showed what they could do with space and time as they ran from deep inside their own half to score in the right corner.

But Penarth’s response was immediate as a good kick chase saw the Clwb number 8 spill the ball in midfield and skipper Rhys Morgan was ready to pounce, three perfectly weighted kicks ahead saw him over the line and under for Penarth’s third try to open up a 5-24 lead.

Just as the Seasiders appeared to have opened up a decisive lead and established complete control a loose phase of play saw the ball turned over and Clwb back on the counter attack some good handling and fast feet saw them under the posts to make the half time score 12-24.

The first 15 minutes of the second half was little less than a disaster for Penarth as Clwb piled forward with renewed confidence to lay siege to the Penarth line.

When Penarth did get hold of the ball they couldn’t hold onto it and before long the scores were tied and it looked as though the game had gone.

A raft of changes brought new life to the Penarth attack, Harry Wood, Tom Griffiths, Ryan Jones and Kevin Maddox entered the fray and the Penarth stemmed the tide.

And then as quickly as they had descended into mediocrity Penarth turned on the style, in a 10 minute period they scored 3 tries and looked unplayable, man of the match George Roberts lit the touch paper and Matt Allen, Kevin Maddox and Josh Spragg all crossed the whitewash with Docherty adding the extras to open up a 24-43 lead with 13 minutes to go.

Game over you’d presume, but that’s just not the Penarth way.

Clwb had nothing to lose so had everything to gain from running the ball from anywhere on the pitch, Penarth were just not quick enough to realise that and over-commitment to rucks saw space open up in the wide channels which the homes side needed no invitation to attack and two quick tries later the lead was just five and there was still three minutes on the clock.

To their credit Penarth found the resolve to battle through the closing stages even coming close to a seventh try before finally knocking the ball off the pitch to come away with five points and a jump to fourth in the league table.

There were many positives from this performance but still plenty to work on this week as next weekend see the visit of high flying Pontyclun who are the early pace setters in the league and who were 71-0 victors over Penarth in March.

Penarth: G Williams (H Wood), M Good (T Griffiths), A Doyle, A Shore, M Allen, J Spragg, S Davies, M Jones (R Jones), S Robinson, J Docherty, J Crothers, R Morgan (c), G Roberts, B Hill, G Kynaston (K Maddox)

Scorers: A Shore (t), M Good (t), R Morgan (t), J Spragg (t), M Allen (t), K Maddox (t), J Docherty (5c/1p)