By Peter Weston

SINCE there was no scoreboard, opinions vary as to the exact number of successful conversions, but it’s absolutely clear that the sides each scored four tries, so we have to assume that the one clear miss by Penarth means the above score is accurate. Probably.

Still, these warm-ups are more about giving the whole squad match time and working on combinations and this bizarre three-session game of ‘15s’ was all of that,

Let’s deal with ‘15s’ first. As it turns out, it’s still not full-contact rugby, as there are free-kicks instead of scrums, so it’s more like ‘10s’ with 15-a-side.

Except there was simply no space to be exploited, as the Seasiders found to their cost.

To be fair, both sides struggled to put much together in the first session, but it was Penarth who made more of a trouble out of it all.

Plenty of effort, but little cohesion, continuity or communication. It didn’t help that the line-out was a bit of a mess, but that seemed to persist all afternoon.

Discipline wasn’t too great either as the visitors got on the wrong side of the referee and collected a couple of yellow cards in the process.

Although Pentyrch were broadly dominant, the first session had nearly ground to a scoreless halt when the hosts finally found a way round the Penarth defensive line with some inventive handling and scored behind the posts.

The second session began with a much-changed Pentyrch 15 tearing into the Seasiders from the whistle, but a serious ankle injury to one of their players halted the game for 15 minutes as he received necessary treatment before being stretchered off.

A tapped restart led to about 12 phases of attack which Penarth successfully repelled, only to fall victim to a quickly tapped penalty and a 14-0 deficit.

At this point in the proceedings, the hosts were looking faster and more committed, while Penarth were clearly struggling.

There was more possession to be had, but no-one, including the usual game-breakers, could gain more than two metres before being brought down and recycling at the breakdown was routinely slow.

That’s not to say that the Seasiders had their backs to the wall and when their first score finally arrived in the last play of the second session, it all looked too easy.

A tapped penalty was worked quickly to the left hand corner, where Alan Doyle was on the overlap to score. 14-7.

The final session was probably disappointing for both sides.

First a beautiful long-range drop-out from James Docherty gained best part of 80 metres, but no amount of Penarth pressure could bring a score.

Then having regained possession, Pentyrch grabbed their own share of field position and their left wing shrugged off a tackle and scurried home. 21-7.

Now at last the Penarth line-break specialists finally got their act together as Harry Williams broke through to feed Jim Crothers who chipped ahead to score.

However, the touch judge had raised his flag by mistake, so the try couldn’t stand.

Suitably encouraged, the Seasiders were soon back in the red zone and some slick handling left Morgan Smith to complete the score. 21-12.

The final minutes of the game brought the most excitement, but only after Pentyrch’s right wing had exploited sloppy defending to waltz through the visitors’ defence for his side’s fourth try. 28-12.

Then all of a sudden Penarth finally and decisively got their act together.

Docherty expertly drilled a penalty into the corner, Ben Heywood caught Tom Griffith’s throw cleanly and the hooker was on hand in the maul to complete the score.

Way on top and strutting their stuff with the game already out of reach, the Seasiders finished in some style.

This time it was Miles Jones forcing his way through desperate defence and feeding Rhys Morgan.

The captain took it into the 22 with none other than Alan Doyle on his shoulder to finish with his second try.

Penarth squad: Sam Davies, Nathan Frost, Alan Doyle, Ben Heywood, Liam Richards, Tom Griffiths, Geraint Williams, Cam Sultana, Alex Thau, Sean O’Sullivan, Richie Bowen, Josh Spragg, Ryan Jones, Alex Shore. Jim Crothers, Andy Richards, Rhys Morgan ©, Josh Powell, Ben Jones, Will Hardy, Morgan Smith, Aled Rees, Harry Williams, James Docherty, Spencer Robinson, Ellis Shewring.

WRU Bowl Round-Robin, Saturday, August 7, Old Penarthians v Penarth, Cwrt-y-Vil Playing Fields, St.Mark’s Road, Penarth CF64 3PF, kick-off 2.30pm.