Gwernyfed RFC | 1st Team 10 - 5 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Josh Alcock
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Match Report
03 March 2020 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Gwernyfed Match Report

After the away trip to Gwernyfed last Saturday both sets of players and supporters must have wondered whether rugby should be a summer sport.  After another week of heavy rain in South Wales the home team determined that the Specsavers Division 3 East Central (B) could go ahead and in their opinion the result justified the decision as they slid out the winners by 10 points to 5

The match started in a hailstorm with the wind whipping in the rain horizontally, before bright sunshine led to snow which left the surrounding hillsides coated white and all the time the temperature was just above freezing.

It meant that the pitch which looked green at the start ended up in two inches of mud with the players almost unrecognisable and desperate for a hot shower.

It was inevitable that these conditions were not going to result in free-flowing rugby and the rugged forward orientated game favoured by the home team was going to dominate the more fluid tactics preferred by the Old Pens.

That said, part way through the first half the tight five of Luke Crockett, Peter Bennett, Dan Higson, James Roach and Stuart Clarke earned themselves a series of penalties at scrums which certainly brought smiles to the faces of coaches Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies

The wind advantage to the visitors in the first half needed to be capitalised upon and after 22minutes territory was gained from a Nathan Facey penalty to touch.  Ball was secured by Josh Allcock and play was taken into midfield with forward drives by Ieuan Lloyd, Higson and Crockett (later to be named the CJCH Solicitors man of the match). 

This attack led to a scrum inside the Gwernyfed 22, which was successfully hooked and play advanced up the left-hand touchline through Clarke.


When a ruck was formed the ball was released by Tomos Hillman and Joel deClaire offloaded quickly to Josh Allcock who was unmarked and scampered over for a try from 15m.  The Facey conversion was unsuccessful but Penarthians led 5-0

As so often happens, Old Penarthians then made a mess of the kick-off failing to collect it cleanly and conceding a penalty.  Gwernyfed kicked to the corner and from 8m out orchestrated a rolling maul that was unstoppable and resulted in winger Scott Rees joining the drive and scoring a try. 

Ten minutes later another penalty kicked to the corner had exactly the same result with a rolling maul creating a try for Scott Rees and a 10-5 lead to the home team

Before the end of the half Old pens launched a couple of attacks through their underused threequarters and both Rhys Lakin and Jonathan Crimp made half breaks before the mud prevented forward progress.  Liam Bevan also showed some direct running that led to a penalty attempt just before the interval but the chance was missed

The second half was always going to be a challenge as the pitch deteriorated but it was the Old Penarthians who had the greater share of the possession and territory despite playing into the elements.  Converting the chances created however was not easy and breaks made by substitute Gareth Clancy, Chris Poole, Rowan Allcock, Crimp and Jones could not be converted into points.


It all meant that the half was pointless in more ways than one and it was a shivering and despondent team who returned to Penarth. This mood was not improved with the news that hooker Bennett had ruptured a biceps muscle and would be joining fellow front rower Tom Sidford, who suffered the same injury, on the sidelines for the rest of the season

The next fixture for the 1st XV is at home against Llandaff on 21st March with a scheduled kick off at 2.30pm.  It is hoped that the 2nd XV will also see some action after nearly two months without a fixture


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