Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team 14 - 22 Fairwater RFC | 1st Team
Jonathan Crimp
Conversion 2
Fearghas Gough
Try 1
Sam Booth
Try 1

Match Report
09 October 2018 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Fairwater Match Report

Last Saturday Old Penarthians hosted a match in the second round of the WRU Bowl, a knock-out competition for all clubs at the Division 3 level of the National Leagues.  After a first-round success at home against Treherbert it was the turn of unbeaten Division 3 East Central (A) table toppers, Fairwater, to visit Cwrt-y-vil.

The contest throughout was hard fought, and the result was in the balance until the last two minutes of the game when a fourth try and conversion from Fairwater proved to be decisive.  The final score of 22 – 14 in favour of Fairwater does not reflect the contribution that Old Penarthians made to an absorbing match but the Fairwater squad was probably slightly stronger, and they just deserved their victory

Old Penarthians can however take heart from the match in which they competed in all phases of the game, except for a still shaky scrummage, and the intensity of their performance will stand them in good stead as the season progresses.

The match started well for Old Penarthians playing into a strong wind and they dominated the first five minutes.  Forward drives from Callum Wingren, Louis Chandler and Adan Cole laid out the foundation for the backline.  They in turn were strong in attack with penetrating runs from Sam Booth and Chris Poole.

It was therefore against the run of play that Fairwater opened the scoring. It followed admirable defence by the forwards on their own goal line with James Beaton eventually stealing a possession and earning a penalty. The kick found touch however the ensuing lineout was tapped down without direction and Fairwater pounced on the ball.  A scrum to the attacking side resulted and after a couple of attempts Bradley Mais crossed at the corner.  The try was unconverted, and Fairwater led by 5 points to nil after 14 minutes.

Penarthians hit back almost immediately and drives from Tom Sidford and James Roach with Chandler again in support saw the ball released to Tom Hillman.  He passed to captain, Rhys Lakin, who ran at his opposite number.  As Lakin was tackled he passed on to Booth who smashed through two defenders to score between the posts.  Jon Crimp converted and after 18 mins Old Pens were in the lead by 2 points.

From the kick-off Penarthians retained possession and set up another counter attack with Poole breaking free.  He found Crimp and Fearghas Gough in support and the attack continued with forwards Wingren and Dave Cooper driving further down field.  The ball was recycled allowing Mark Sadler a run along the touchline, before being bundled into touch.

The game continued to ebb and flow with quality rugby from both teams but there were no further scores and Old Penarthians led 7 – 5 at half time.

Penarthians received the ball from the kick off and Cole drove back with support from Sam Hall and Beaton into Fairwater territory. Penarthians maintained the pressure and after six or seven drives from the forwards an opportunity of an overlap was spotted by Hillman.  He passed to Poole before passing to Sadler. He found full back Crimp alongside and as the last defender approached, Crimp released Gough to run in from 20m unopposed.

Crimp was successful with the conversion and Penarthians led 14 – 5.

The advantage was however conceded almost immediately and after miscommunication in midfield a pass went astray, and a wayward kick was launched downfield.  A kick was returned and with no one in the area the bouncing ball was collected by Fairwater and Mais scored his second try. 

The Old Pens them seemed to forget the successful first half tactic of running the ball, preferring a kicking option with the wind at their backs.  However, too often the kicking was not well directed and from one such instance the Fairwater fullback ran through some uncharacteristic sloppy defence to launch a counterattack which eventually resulted in a third try for Mais. Fairwater now led 15 -14

This score saw the end of Booth’s game after 32 minutes with an injury to be replaced by Alex Lewis.  Almost immediately he was in the action running down the right-hand side-line beating two defenders before being tackled into touch.

Penarthians tried hard for the next five minutes and after an attacking lineout taken by Scott Mackie, supported by fellow substitute Matt Sutton and a forward drive that was deemed to have been held up as the maul progressed the final chance was lost.

To add insult to injury the Fairwater pack controlled the last three minutes of the game and their flanker scored a try that was converted to give the final score of 22 – 15.

This Saturday the first XV play an away fixture to Wattstown. The second XV entertain Pentrych.  Both games kick off at 2.30pm.


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