A FORTNIGHT after the spectacular win against previously-undefeated Pentrych, the next mid-week rearranged game took the Seasiders into west Cardiff to play fifth-placed Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd on Canton RFC’s 3G pitch.

Artificial pitches often suit teams that prefer the running game like these two, but the heavy rain on this Wednesday evening brought its share of handling and other errors.

Penarth surged into an early lead as Joe Williams converted a 40m penalty, then went one better as Spencer Robinson made a characteristic line-break and George Roberts coolly opened the try-scoring in the corner.

Minutes later the Seasiders eased further ahead. A drive down the right-hand flank was halted one metre out, but precise phase play opened up the gap for Mike Lang to score the second.

The Cymry, meanwhile, hadn’t been idle as they forced a penalty inside the visitors’ half and claimed their first with an urgent maul from the line-out to bring the score back to 7-15. While Penarth continued to press in attack, they had a tendency to rush things and a handling error and a knock-on allowed Clwb to hack ahead and win the foot-race for their second try.

Penarth Times: Ben Jones attacks. Picture: Alun Roach

Ben Jones attacks. Picture: Alun Roach

Here we had a one-point game and both sides were running it from everywhere in the pouring rain. The Seasiders were having much the best of it, but more handling errors and misjudgements prevented further scores and the match remained poised. Until three minutes before the break, when another penalty sent the Cymry into the away 22, where their well-drilled maul brought them a third try and a 21-15 lead.

The second half opened with fresh woe for Penarth as Clwb once again fired up their maul for a fourth try and a 26-15 lead. All this time the Seasiders were sticking with the open running game with centres Rhys Beynon and Andy Richards with Ben Jones putting in a massive shift at full-back probed ceaselessly.

What no-one knew at the time, but which proved critical, was that the Cymry had shot their bolt and weren’t to add to their score in the remaining 36 minutes.

The Seasiders dominated possession and even took a line-out against the throw, and pulled a try back as Tom Griffiths forced his way over the corner. They were also dominant in the tight, as they splintered the Clwb scrum repeatedly without the expected reward.

It was proving difficult to squeeze points out of all the dominance, but two penalties in the last ten minutes turned the game on its head. Penarth were eventually rewarded with a penalty just outside the 22 and produced a well-managed maul of their own, from which outside-half Joe Williams scored. Then with the Cymry still clinging on to a one-point lead, the Seasiders’ constant pressure was finally recognised with the award of the second penalty, which Williams converted with the last kick of the game.

Penarth Times: The last-gasp winning penalty. Joe Williams converts.  Picture: Alun Roach

The last-gasp winning penalty. Joe Williams converts.  Picture: Alun Roach

While the next game after publication will be the away fixture at Fairwater, Canton RFC will have visited the Athletic Field on Wednesday 22-Mar-23 in another rearrangement.

Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd (21) 26 Penarth (15) 28

Peter Weston