DESPITE the weather and another late call off from league opponents Penarth Athletic managed once again to secure both a fixture and an impressive victory over Division 1 Llantrisant.

There had been some trepidation when Llantrisant announced that they were bringing a mixed XV due to their 1st XV game being cancelled but despite Penarth being in the same position no changes were made to the Athletic XV and they recorded a fine win.

From the opening phases Penarth were clearly at the races with the forwards asserting early dominance and the back line handling the ball with consummate ease despite a heavy pitch and constant drizzle in the air.

It was therefore no surprise when Kevin Maddox split the defence to open the scoring.

The Penarth lead was consolidated shortly after as Harry Roberts showed some fine footwork to burrow his way over with Maddox again adding the extras. Llantrisant were building themselves into the game and started to get possession in the Penarth half. Following a bruising five minutes camped on the Penarth try line they finally managed to squeeze over for what was to be their only score of the afternoon.

In the second half Penarth continued to show how much they have improved over the course of the season, there would have been much to impress watching 1st XV coaches Matt Bolton and Tristan Davies in the way in which the structures in both attack and particularly defence are being put into practice by the Athletic AV, which is a testament to the way in which the whole club has committed to training as a squad.

The next try for Penarth came from second row Ben Heywood, who had an industrious afternoon both in the lineout and the loose, as he took the ball on a good angle and powered his way over the line. There was then another try for the evergreen Maddox before the scrum showed its power and shoved the Llantrisant pack backwards at a rate of knots before Chris Mortimer broke from the back to go over for the 5th try and final try of the day.

With 15 minutes left on the clock the game was won but the drama was not. The referee, presumably taking into account the fact that this was a friendly fixture, seemed to turn wholeheartedly against Penarth who were on the wrong end of a long list of penalties, many of which from the sidelines looked harsh to say the least.

The result that Llantrisant were encamped in the Penarth 22 for the entirety of the remainder of the game. However, regardless of the circumstances and despite having the game in the bag Penarth refused to let up and the defensive effort ensured that even after being reduced to 14 men with the departure from the field of Elliott Smith Llantrisant were not permitted to cross the line.

The final phases of the game summed it up really, Llantrisant were moved backwards by a dominant Penarth defence and when man of the match Owen Williams made a bone crunching tackle to set up a Penarth penalty the celebrations could begin in earnest.

Next weekend sees the 1st XV entertain Mumbles in a friendly whilst the Athletic are taking on Bryncoch 2nd XV both matches scheduled to be at home, weather permitting.

Team: 1. Sean O’Sullivan 2. Liam Richards (Iwan Baker) 3. Lloyd Ellis 4. Sam Harries 5. Ben Heywood 6. Chris Mortimer 7. Harry Roberts (Scott Davies) 8. Elliot Smith 9. Owen Williams 10. Kevin Maddox 11. Leon Appiah 12. Andy Richards 13. Ben Wellington 14. Aaron Davies (Reece McLelland) 15. Jimmy Crothers

Scorers: K Maddox (2t/3c), H Roberts (t), C Mortimer (t), B Heywood (T)