Fixture

Pontycymer RFC | 1st Team 12 - 16 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Josh Alcock
1 Try
Richard Moir
1 Conversion
3 Penalty

Match Report
25 March 2024 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Pontycymer Match Report

The Old Penarthians 1st XV match away against Pontycymer last Saturday in the WRU Division 4 East Central league fixture carried the obvious sporting cliché of an ‘eight pointer’.  At the start of the day Old Penarthians were in 7h position in the 10-team division and in one of the four relegation places with 27 points from their 14 games.  Pontycymer were on place higher with 28 points from their 14 games played.

Fortunately, by the end of the day Old Penarthians had turned the positions around with a hard-fought win on a very wet, but playable, pitch. The 16 - 12 win in favour of the visitors and the four league points earned means that Old Pens are now two points clear of Pontycymer with three games to play.  On paper the Old Pens run in to the end of the season is slightly easier, but it will take concentration and hard work from the players to ensure the team remains in a league in which they have been competitive throughout the campaign.

Club Chairman, Stephen Clarke, even suggested that without a couple of bad on-field decisions at critical times and with a little more luck the team could have been competing for third position.

The match at Pontycymer could however not have started more poorly, when from a quickly taken lineout on one side of the pitch the home team launched an attack which was met with only passive defence by the Old Pens and Dan Morgans crossed for a try in the corner on the opposite touchline.

This shook the visitors into life and for the remainder of the half they dominated both territory and possession. It was however not to be reflected in the scoreline which showed that Old Penarthians only scored one try, a conversion and penalty for a 10-5 half time lead.

The try came from a close-range effort from a well organised line out that saw Andy Gill catch from a James Reynolds throw and the forwards combine to drive Josh Allcock over for the score that was converted by Richie Moir. This actually came after previous forward drives had seen Jake Thomas cross the tryline only to be adjudged to have made two movements to score. A decision hotly contested by Thomas.

It was not all forward play however and Rhys Lakin, captaining the team, orchestrated threequarter movements that saw space created for Alex Lewis, Ieuan Harris and Rory Hone but the opportunities could not be capitalised upon.  In fact, Hone was unlucky to have made a midfield break and with an open field in front of him, abruptly stopped with a recurrence of a hamstring injury brought on by the heavy pitch. He was replaced by Henry Kynaston with Connor Christie moving into the centre.

The other points of the half came after 30 minutes when Moir kicked a penalty.

With confidence high in the visitor’s team talk, the second half was going to be one of consolidation and error free rugby.  Unfortunately, this was undone on 7 minutes when an attacking scrum to Pontycymer, that was held by the Penarthians pack, allowed the scrum half to release the backs. The outside half, Gareth Howells, ran into contact and whilst the visitors thought the move was held up, he span out of contact to score under the posts. Howells converted and Pontycymer led 12-10

Penarthains were soon back on the attack and after some good touch finding kicks from Moir the forwards won a penalty and Moir kicked the three points to retake the lead after 14 minutes.

With the pitch taking its toil and players getting tired Old Pens made some substitutions with veteran Mark Smart taking over from Porthcawl permit player, David Downes; Tyler Crater replacing Alex Lewis and Rhys Thomas taking over form Andy Gill who was playing his 50th game for the 1st XV after his debut in the 2005/06 season.

The team continued to play positively with Tom Sidford and Joel deClaire prominent in the forwards and with Pontycymer under pressure they were rewarded with another Moir penalty with ten minutes left.  Pontycymer did exert their own pressure in the last period but Penarthains defence held firm and a notable 16-12 victory was achieved.

This weekend sees an Old Penarthians President’s Select XV play against Welsh Academicals on Good Friday with a 2.30pm kick off as part of the Club’s Centenary celebrations, that also features the Youth XV playing Crawshays Youth (kick off 2.30pm) and the Womens 1st XV playing Dowlais (kick off 1.15pm) on Easter Saturday.

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