SATURDAY, December 16 saw a crunch league game for the Penarth RFC Youth against local rivals and league leaders Llandaff RFC Youth, which saw the Penarth Youth team overwhelm its opposition to win by 24 points to five.

Following heavy rain throughout the week leading up to the game, it was touch and go whether the match would go ahead, however, an early pitch inspection at the Athletic club passed the second pitch fit to play on, and the game went ahead against an experienced Llandaff Youth team.

Conditions were difficult under foot and a strong wind in the first half helped Llandaff Youth to kick long and spend long periods of the half in the Penarth 22 metre zone applying pressure in the set piece to curtail the Penarth boys progressing much into the Llandaff 22.

Despite pressurising the Penarth line, the defence of the Home team held firm with some tremendous tackles coming from the Penarth front row of Geraint Williams, Tom Griffiths and Liam Richards and superb work in the loose from the back row of Nathan Frost, Sam Sullivan and Thaine Baker, who kept the Llandaff attack at bay.

It was the Penarth boys however, through flanker Baker, that broke the deadlock after 24 minutes when the team managed to impinge into the Llandaff 22 metres for the first time of the half.

Following a well directed driving maul, instigated from the line out by the second rows of Will parsons and Alex Shore, it was Baker that broke free to dive over the Llandaff try line and open up a 5-0 lead to Penarth.

After a missed conversion, the Llandaff boys immediately fought back and within minutes managed to level the score at 5-5 following a long kick into the Penarth half and good interplay between the big ball carriers in their pack, which eventually saw success when the ball was driven over the Penarth line for the score.

The driving wind at the Athletic field continued to dominate the first half of the game, with the Llandaff outside half making the most of the conditions to regularly kick Penarth back into their own half and it was only through continued good defensive play by the Penarth eight and midfield line of Harry Williams, Toby Dyer and George Roberts that thwarted the Llandaff boys from taking the lead.

With the half time turnaround of five points all, coaches Simon Rees and Dai Williams encouraged the Penarth boys to use the elements and push play to the opposition and the breakthrough came after 10 minutes of the second half when following a solid line out from the Penarth forwards, Penarth scrum half Gruff Shewring found a gap between the lineout forwards to step through the opposition and score near the posts. With the conversion from outside half Williams the score moved to Penarth 12 Llandaff five

With both their tails up and the condition in Penarth’s favour, the Penarth eight, boosted by subs Josh James at prop and Rhys Jones at Flanker, started to dominate the set piece scrum and take the ball to the opposition. Finding themselves on the back foot Llandaff started to struggle with the pace of the game and only minutes later a neat chip through from outside half Williams, saw Penarth wing Luke Pringle win the race to the try area to ground the ball and take Penarth into a 17 points to five lead.

The Penarth boys didn’t take a backward step and continued to turn the screw on the opposition with excellent defensive work and big carries from number eight Sullivan and flanker Nathan Frost, supported by winger Mike Halligan and full back Luc Kean-Adams, and it was Kean-Adams that finished off a great move initiated by Williams and carried by centre George Roberts when Kean-Adams hit the angle at pace to cut inside the Llandaff defence to score under the posts and make the final score Penarth RFC Youth 24 Llandaff RFC Youth five.

It was a great performance by the whole Youth squad who have had a great first half of the season winning 11 out of 12 games.