Fixture

Brackla RFC | 1st Team 22 - 24 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Richard Moir
1 Try
Jonathan Crimp
2 Conversion
Liam Brooks
1 Try
Ieuan Harris
1 Try
James Reynolds
1 Try

Match Report
16 January 2024 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Brackla Match Report

Old Penarthians 1st XV travelled to Brackla RFC for their latest Division 4 East Central league fixture and after a very tense contest emerged as winners by 24 points to 22 following a try and conversion with one minute left in the game. This was the fourth victory in five outings for the team who now have 21 league points and are only 8 points behind third placed Brackla who earned two bonus points in defeat.

It was a game that in the period before Christmas would not have been won but the spirit and belief in the side, which still features five relatively inexperienced 20-year-olds, is now much improved and the players fully deserved their victory for ‘sticking in there’ until the final whistle.

The game hadn’t started well with Brackla scoring a try after four minutes through hooker Drew Ullah after a period of sustained pressure through their forwards. Huw Rosser converted and Brackla led 7-0.

Penarthians recovered some composure and after 12 minutes gained some territory through runs from Rhys Lakin and Craig Haines and were awarded a scrum about 15m from the Brackla tryline. The scrum was in disarray but Joel deClaire managed to pick up the ball and drive forward.  Tom Sidford went into contact and from the ruck the ball was recycled back to deClaire who passed to Andy Gill who gave Ieuan Harris the opportunity to race along the touchline to score in the corner.  The conversion from Jonathan Crimp was unsuccessful.

It was then the turn for Brackla to dominate possession with Old Penarthians failing to make first up tackles and giving away too many penalties either at the breakdown or in open play with tackles deemed to be high by the referee. The infringements gave Brackla territorial advantage which from one dominant scrum Jarred Blackwell scored a try which went unconverted.

Rosser then missed a penalty kick at goal which would have increased the Brackla lead but on another occasion a kick to touch for a lineout was won well and the ball spread across the pitch for winger Blackwell to score in the opposite corner for his second try.

In this period an injured deClaire was replaced by Elliot Dyment-Salmon in the back row, but it was second row Anthony Armstrong who stole a Brackla lineout on 35 minutes and scrum half Gareth Clancy got the ball away to the threequarters who passed effectively for Haines to straighten the line and put Richie Moir away for a try that went unconverted by Crimp.

Penarthians were now the dominant team and Brackla were the team conceding penalties.  Two quickly taken penalties by Clancy with drives from Josh Allcock and Sidford led to a kick at goal from almost the same position as the previous missed conversion by Crimp, but he was again narrowly wide.

The last chance of the half also went to Old Pens when a try scoring opportunity along the touchline was squandered when Gill stepped inside to be tackled when there was a two-man overlap to his right.  The half closed with Brackla leading 17-10.

Brackla kicked off the second half and whilst Sidford caught the ball the team failed to exit properly and from a scrum Ross Cunningham scored a try to earn Brackla a four-try bonus point and a 12-point lead.

For the next 20 minutes no team took control but Penarthians introduced experienced player-coach Jake Thomas and Rory Hone who both made impacts on the game.  But it was Clancy taking another quick penalty who was tackled within 10m of the infringement that gave Crimp the opportunity to kick to the corner.  The line out was cleanly won by Allcock and the forwards drove the resulting maul over the line for a James Reynolds try and a Crimp conversion for a 22-17 scoreline.

Brackla restarted with a short kick-off collected well by the advancing forwards who charged forward through weak tackles until Hone stopped the move and ripped the ball free for Clancy to kick clear.

With five minutes remaining another attacking lineout was controlled and the maul driven over the line.  This time Dyment-Salmon thought he had scored but the unsighted referee decided the ball was not grounded and awarded Brackla a relieving goal line drop-out.

Previously, this would have been a time when Old Pens heads would have dropped but on this occasion they responded with further attacks and controlled goal line forays until at last Liam Brooks scored a bonus-point try under the posts to level the scores. After a brief hold-up for an absent kicking-tee Crimp kicked the conversion with one minute remaining for an Old Pens victory by 24-22.

Old Penarthians 1st XV return to Cwrt-y-vil on Saturday 13th January for a home fixture against Pontycymer who lie two places, and two points, above them in the league table.  Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

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