Ferndale RFC | 1st Team 0 - 22 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Fearghas Gough
1 Try
Chad Wilson
1 Try
Jonathan Crimp
1 Try
1 Conversion
Joel De Claire
1 Try

Match Report
01 December 2015 / Team News

Ferndale RFC v Old Penarthians RFC - Match Report

Old Penarthians v Ferndale Match Report

Saturday 28th November 2015

In atrocious weather and on a pitch that was barely playable Old Penarthians came away from their match with Ferndale with a bonus point victory that sent them to the top of WRU National League 3 East Central (C).  The actual scoreline of 22 points 0 does not however tell the full story as the team put in one of their best displays of the season to defeat a Ferndale team who were previously top of the table.

The whole team stood up to the challenge of the opposition and the weather conditions to acquit themselves with skill levels that far exceeded the coaches’ and spectators’ expectations.  The handing throughout was crisp and controlled and the driving efforts of the forwards when they kept the ball tight was well drilled and disciplined.

And it was the forward effort that was the foundation when from the first scrum Ferndale were driven backwards by the tight five of Dave Hosking, Richie Dighton, Lee Brennan, Alun Haines and Tom Sidford.  Behind them Geraint Blake, Chris Cobbold and Joel deClaire relished the wet conditions and were constantly the first players to any loose ball.

Playing with the strong wind and rain at their backs in the first half Old Penarthians were to enjoy most of the territorial advantage but dogged defence by Ferndale held strong until a scrum on the home team 22 saw deClaire break from no 8 and pass to Gareth Clancy.  In turn he committed the Ferndale winger to send Fearghas Gough on a run down the touchline to beat the last defender and score a try for a 5 – 0 lead.

Further pressure resulted in series of scrums on the home team try line and from one of those set pieces the forwards drove and Joel deClaire scored the try.  Jon Crimp again failed with the conversion.

But it was not just forward play, the three-quarters had opportunities themselves due to their adventurous attitude.  One move in particular starting on the right hand side of the field would have graced any warm weather match with the ball passing from Clancy to Crimp to Rhys Lakin, who broke through a tackle in mid field.  Lakin passed to Tim Naylor who committed his opposite number and only just failed to free his hands in the tackle to release an unmarked Chad Wilson on the opposite side of the pitch.

With a half time advantage of 10 points and the weather not improving the referee did consider his options and advised the teams that provided the pitch did not worsen up to the 20th minute of the second half he would play the game to a conclusion.  At this stage the Old Pens were obviously keen to complete the match but knew they would have to play into a strong wind.

This was the time when the forwards took control with driving mauls into the heart of the opposition.  Second half substitutes Paul Rapley and Matt Allen (playing on permit from Penarth) were prominent in these attacks and it was from an break just inside the Ferndale half that Rapley found himself in space.  He ran towards the defenders and with a shrug of his shoulders that could have been an attempted dummy he found that he was still upright and moving forward.  When he was eventually tackled he found Cobbold in support, but he was brought down a yard short of the tryline.  With the ball presented well Crimp was the first to arrive and dive over to score.  In the absence of his kicking tee, because his nephew Steffan was defrosting in the changing rooms, Crimp’s attempted drop kick just about got out of the mud.

The final score of the game came after twenty minutes when a Ferndale scrum five yards from their own tryline was won against the head by Dighton and Clancy used the short side by the left touchline to pass to Crimp who sent Wilson in for the bonus point ‘splash-down’ try.  Crimp, back with his kicking tee, converted for a 22 -0 score.

The last twenty minutes were played out with the Old Penarthians still trying to turn pressure into points and Lloyd Davey nearly broke clear on one occasion but at the final whistle Penarthians were delighted with the result and the performance.  It is testament to the coaches and players commitment that Penarthians could call on quality off the bench in the shape of Craig Haines and Sam Hall, in addition to those already mentioned.

The whole team played well and it is probably unfair to single out individuals but the handling skills of the forwards, in particular deClaire, Sidford and Hoskins, was of the highest quality in the poorest of conditions.  Behind the scrum chances were limited but Lakin and Naylor always looked a threat and Crimp and Clancy both kicked sensibly when conditions dictated.

Next Saturday the 1st XV entertain CIACS, whom they defeated by 57 points in the first game of the season and the seconds are looking for opposition following the withdrawal of Llanrumney from their league.  Both games (if played) are scheduled to kick off at 2.30pm.


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