Tonyrefail RFC | 1st Team 29 - 3 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Nathan Mark Facey
1 Penalty

Match Report
30 January 2020 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Tonyrefail Match Report

On a damp and dreary day last Saturday Old Penarthians 1st XV travelled north to play Tonyrefail in their latest Specsavers Division 3 East Central (B) league fixture.  Tonyrefail were lying second in the division before the game and reinforced their position with a deserved win by 29 points to 3.

It was therefore Penarthians whose spirits were dampened on the return journey as they had travelled in the expectations of climbing a few places in the league themselves to reinforce a challenge at the top.

The enthusiasm was not only based on the knowledge that the team possesses a strong threequarter unit but that Geraint Blake had managed to organise front row players from CIACS RFC, whose game had been cancelled earlier in the day.  Conah Harrison and Mike Kennedy therefore  played on permit and Harrison impressed to be awarded the spectators David Baker & Co sponsored Man of the Match award.

The match did not start well for Old Pens where poor early clearance kicking allowed Tonyrefail to exert pressure and they were rewarded after 8 minutes when after a scrum and a series of rucks winger Owain Lewis found space to score an unconverted try.

Tonyrefail returned to the attack when Nathan Facey kicked the restart over the dead ball line and Penarthians were again defending deep in their own half.  On this occasion Joel deClaire did well at the base of the scrum and Liam Bevan drove the ball forward.  On this occasion Facey made amends with a 40m clearance kick.

From the lineout won cleanly by James Beaton Tonyrefail infringed and Facey kicked the ensuing penalty form 45m to close the score to 5-3.

Suitably heartened Penarthians were soon on the attack again through good forward work by Harrison, Luke Crockett and Louis Chandler and they won a line out inside the home team’s 22.  This time the ball was driven forward and the maul was illegally stopped.  Unfortunately, Facey missed the resulting penalty.

The rest of the half was evenly contested but despite Tonyrefail being reduced to 14 players after a yellow card infringement by their scrum half they maintained the territorial advantage. In fact, it was only good work by Rowan Allcock chasing back to touch down a kick through by Tonyrefail that prevented a try.  Unfortunately, the quickly taken 22m drop out was ill judged and charged down by prop Declan Thomas.  He then showed remarkable pace to out sprint the wrong-footed Jonathan Crimp to score a try that was converted by Jordan Jones.

On the stroke of half time Penarthians were lucky not to go further behind when a two-man overlap was squandered and the attacking player stepped inside to be wrapped up by a combination tackle from Allcock and Chris Poole. The half time score favoured the home team by 12-3

The second half commenced with Tonyrefail again on the attack and they were rewarded after a series of scrums when no 8 Owain Lewis scored from a push-over try.  Jones again converted.

The Old Pens backline was however seeing more of the ball but much of it was in their own half and the sticky ground made it difficult for Kevin Maddox, Bevan, Crimp and Poole to make headway.  One chance from broken play saw Rowan Allcock break free with two kicks up field which ended with a Penarthians line out in the Tonyrefail 22.  This run also ended Allcock’s contribution when a hamstring injury saw him replaced by Nathan Smith.

Smith brought some direct running to the contest but it was Jones who extended the Tonyrefail advantage with a successful penalty, before another push over try from Lewis after 32 minutes and conversion by Jones made the score 29-3

The game was lost at this stage but it brought out the best in the Old Pens who dominated the remaining eight minutes in the Tonyrefail 22 with a number of surging drives which saw first Stuart Clarke and then Chandler being tackled just short of the tryline.

There are no matches scheduled for the next two weeks as Six Nations Rugby takes centre stage but members and visitors alike are more than welcome to watch those matches at the clubhouse where food will be provided at half time


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