LAST Friday evening (December 1) saw Penarth RFC Youth back in action following a short break for the Autumn internationals to gain a well earned victory against a strong Tondu RFC Youth team.

Playing their first game under lights this season, the Penarth boys were keen to impress the large crowd of friends and families who had come to watch the match at the Athletic Ground on a perfect crisp and cold evening.

From the start, the well organised offloading plays from the Penarth boys left the Tondu players flat footed as they encountered a forward surge of second and third phase play which immediately put the opposition on their back foot and which opened up gaps from the start for the Penarth backs to attack.

It was only a matter of seven minutes into the game when the Penarth front five carried the ball up into the Tondu 22 before quick ball saw the Penarth back line move the ball swiftly through the hands to put Penarth wing Mike Halligan into the corner to open up the scoring, and with a conversion from Full back Harry Williams take the score to 7-0 opening lead.

From the resulting kick off, it was Penarth number eight Sam Sullivan who set off on a storming run to be tackled on the half way line and after an infringement by the Tondu flanker in the resulting ruck, it gave an opportunity for full back Williams to take the penalty and kick the ball just outside the Tondu 22 metre line.

From the resulting line out, Hooker Tom Griffiths accurately pinpointed second row Alex shore at the front of the line and the Penarth pack drove the resulting maul towards the Tondu try line, and it was scrum half Morgan Rees who broke from the maul down the blind side to smash past the Tondu blind side winger and score under the posts . With the conversion by Williams again, it took the score to 14-0 with 15 minutes on the clock.

The Penarth boys at this time were overwhelming their opposition and again from the resulting kick off, Penarth open side Flanker Thaine Baker, caught the ball on his 22 metre line, and with a deft run it saw the back row sidestepping and dummying his way all the way to the Tondu 22 metre line before offloading a superb pass to allow Penarth outside half Aron Arthur to step under the posts and score Penarth's third try within 24 minutes. With a conversion from Williams Penarth took a 21-0 lead.

Within minutes of the re start, it again saw the Penarth forwards working hard in the loose, and following another turn over ball from flanker Rhys Jones it allowed the Penarth backs to counter attack with speed through outside half Arthur who sold a wonderful dummy and side stepped inside the defence to offload to centre Rhys Beynon giving him a clear uninterrupted run to the Tondu line only for the referee to call play back for a forward pass.

From the resulting set scrum decisions seem to go against the Penarth boys as they conceded several Penalties for indiscipline and Tondu through some excellent kicking from their outside half managed to creep down the pitch and into the Penarth 22 with a line out on the Penarth 5 metre line. A well taken line out from the visitors saw the ball moved into the blind side through a driving maul, to see the Tondu tighthead prop break free and crash over for a try and take the half time score to Penarth 21-5 Tondu.

Half time saw both some forced changes and tactical changes by the Penarth coaches with props Josh Jones and Liam Richards replacing hard working Geraint Williams and Yaz Ghandour and Tom Marsh replacing Thaine Baker.

It was the Penarth boys from the start of the second half who again dominated play, however, indiscipline was creeping into the game with several good plays being spoiled with penalties which allowed the Tondu boys to clear their half and put pressure on the Penarth defence. It was however, Penarth who struck first in the second half when scrum half Morgan Rees placed a good chip kick over the Tondu defence for wing Mike Halligan to gather and score his second try and take the lead to Penarth 26-5.

Tondu were not prepared to lie down though and to their credit it was they that started to make more progress through good carries by their big forwards which resulted in them scoring their second try and with a great conversion from the five metre line take the score to 26-12.

The Penarth coaches were forced into making some changes after a nasty clash of heads saw the Penarth outside half Aron Arthur leave the pitch with a severe cut to his head and number eight Sam Sullivan with a knee injury.

It also saw Penarth under 16s player Aled Rees replace his older brother Morgan at scrum half to make his debut for the youth team. The talented young scrum half immediately slotted into the team, many of which he plays alongside at Stanwell school senior team, and it was Rees that linked well in open play after a counter attack from Harry Williams which saw the full back put in a clever grubber kick through the Tondu defence to be picked up by wing Mike Halligan who offloaded to second row Will Parsons to score and take the score to 31-12 to Penarth.

In the last 10 minutes of the game it was Tondu who applied all the pressure to the Penarth boys and after two quick well taken converted tries saw the score pulled back to 31-26 and a tense last few minutes. It was eventually settled when Penarth received a penalty in front of Tondu's posts and with the last kick of the game by Williams it saw the final score of Penarth 34 Tondu 26.

The final whistle ended a great game between two good teams.