AFTER suffering a nightmare first half-hour against fourth-placed Llanishen, the Seasiders fought back to lead at half-time, but let it slip again in the second half to lose narrowly, but nevertheless claim two bonus points.

The opening phases were evenly contested, but the visitors went ahead from a penalty for offside. The Penarth defence from the lineout wasn’t properly aligned and the Llanishen tight-head scored. The second try arrived after 23 minutes as the visitors intercepted a loose pass on half-way and their full-back put his outside centre in under the posts for a 12-0 lead.

The Seasiders came back strongly, but despite enjoying huge advantages in territory and possession, a string of handling errors denied them any score until two minutes before half-time. Chris Mortimer and Ritchie Bowen combined down the left flank to set Ben Hill up and the wing outpaced the cover to run around behind the posts. Having finally cut out the handling errors, Penarth immediately turned the screw as James Docherty jinked through a gap to score under the posts.

At the beginning of the second half Llanishen, realising they’d got a game on their hands, upped the pressure and gained immediate rewards. Firstly their lively right wing sliced through missed tackles with some ease and worked it out to the left corner where a replacement prop reached out to score. Minutes later, after Penarth had failed to find touch with a penalty, the visitors’ outside-half broke clear in front of the posts, but was caught at the line. Possession was recycled quickly out left where the right wing scored in the corner.

Now trailing by 27 points to 14, the Seasiders obviously had their work cut out, but were not short of ideas. Within five minutes, replacement outside half Morgan Smith had kicked a penalty to touch in the Llanishen 22 and after several attacking thrusts, the visitors conceded a five metre scrum from which number eight Alex Thau scored.

Unfortunately, having brought themselves back within a score, Penarth then conceded a fifth try as the Llanishen right wing went over in the corner from a scrum. However the Seasiders had the last word as Thau scored his second from another scrum as his team dominated the closing minutes.

Whatever the Western Mail says, the six-point margin and four tries yielded Penarth two bonus points, so they can look forward to next Saturday’s visit to bottom club Llantwit Fardre with some confidence of consolidating their position above the relegation zone. Since Wales v Georgia starts at 2.30pm, an early kick-off can be anticipated, but is yet to be confirmed, check the website for details.

PENARTH Tom Smith, Ben Hill, Rhys Beynon, Chris Mortimer (Tom Luck [C]), James Crothers, James Docherty (Morgan Smith), Rhys Morgan (Owen Lord), Dave Thomas (Sean O’Sullivan), Mason Good, Alan Doyle, Matt Allen, Harrison Pugsley, Scott Mackie , Alex Thau, Ritchie Bowen

Scorers: Alex Thau (two tries), Ben Hill (try), James Docherty (try and two Conversions), Morgan Smith (two conversions)