Penarth RFC | 1st Team 20 - 3 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Jonathan Crimp
1 Penalty

Match Report
29 December 2015 / Team News

Richard "Dickie" Thomas Shield Match

Old Penarthians RFC v Penarth RFC Match Report

Saturday 26th December 2015


On Boxing Day, Penarth entertained local neighbours Old Penarthians RFC in the latest festive contest of this annual rugby event.  This year was however slightly different as the teams were competing to be the winners of the inaugural Richard ‘Dickie’ Thomas Memorial Shield presented to commemorate the sudden death of this well known, and much loved local rugby player.

In his day Richard was a committed and ‘no-nonsense’ player and both clubs honoured his memory by fielding their first choice teams in a match that was always competitive but due to the very heavy pitch conditions lacked flair to ignite the large crowd of watching supporters.

The match was also affected by the strong wind blowing from the Lavernock Road end of the pitch.  Penarth had first use of the advantage and it must be said that they made best use of the conditions by building up a thirteen point lead by half time and then defending the position with good driving forward play that never let Penarthians establish any territory in the Penarth half of the field.


Old Penarthians however did not do themselves any favours because each time they established any territory their set piece play at either line out or scrum let them down and the three-quarters had limited second half opportunities.

In fact the visitors probably played some of their best rugby in the first half when running into the wind with Rhys Lakin and Chris Poole both creating chances and on one occasion they nearly set Charles Gore away down the touchline before he was stopped by the last defender.


But the first half belonged to James Docherty who dominated with good territorial kicking that gave his forwards a platform as well as collecting eight points from two penalties and a conversion after a try by Mason Good.  The try came from a rolling maul set up from a line out close to the corner flag established from another Docherty kick.

But despite the Penarth pressure, Old Penarthians dug deep and the tryline was not crossed again in the half because of the determined defence of both forwards and backs combined.  Chad Wilson, again playing flanker, led the defensive effort with support from Lloyd Davey, Alun Haines and Joel deClaire.  And one incident at the end of the half epitomised the determination when, with Old Pens reduced to fourteen following the yellow card awarded to Sam Hall, a Penarth scrum five yards from the tryline was won comfortably and a clean break saw the winger race to the corner only to be brought down inches short by the covering tackle of deClaire and Fearghas Gough.


The Old Penarthians half time talk would therefore have been very positive after an effective forty minutes of defensive effort and with the award of a penalty in front of the posts after five minutes that was kicked from thirty-five yards by Jon Crimp Penarthians must have thought their chances were very much alive.

It was however not to be, with the Penarth forwards well led by Scott Mackie and Elliot Smith, supported by Matt Allen and reinforced by Richard Merritt who stifled any possession to the visitors.  Penarthians did not concede, but the efforts of Gareth Clancy, Chris Cobbold, Richie Dighton, Tom Sidford, Callum Wingren and the other substitutes that were introduced during the second half were not enough to turn the result, particularly when one line break out of defence by Lakin was brought to an end by a classic ankle tackle by Alex Thau at full stretch.

And it was Thau who would have the last say in the match with a try under the posts after the Penarthians defence was stretched out wide and Penarth used their three-quarters for one of the few occasions in the match.  The try was converted by Docherty for a final score of 20 points to 3.

The players and committee then retired to the clubhouse for refreshments and food where they were joined by supporters to see the presentation of the Memorial Shield by Richard’s son Rhys to winning captain Scott Mackie, after his mum Karen had thanked everyone for supporting the memory of her husband in a way that would have made him proud.


Old Penarthians first and second XVs return to league action next Saturday with both teams at home to Sully Sports and Llanishen respectively.  Both games scheduled to kick off at 2.30pm.


There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos