Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team 21 - 8 Penarth RFC | 1st Team
Josh Alcock
Try 1
Daniel Watts
Try 1
Nathan Mark Facey
Conversion 3
Louis Chandler
Try 1

Match Report
30 December 2018 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Penarth Match Report


After the annual Boxing Day match played between Old Penarthians and Penarth for the Richard ‘Dickie’ Thomas Memorial Shield it was Old Penarthians who were able to add their name for the first time in four attempts after a 21 points to 8 victory

The match was fiercely competitive from the start and was a credit to both sets of players who must have forgone some of the Christmas drink and pudding to have played at such a high level throughout.

After a minute’s silence to commemorate the service to Penarth RFC of stalwart Bernard Francis, who passed away earlier in December, the game started with a kick off from Penarth playing towards the clubhouse.  The next couple of minutes showed the intent of both sides to try and run the ball and in these opening exchanges Penarthians came closest to scoring when Chris Poole gave a neat offload to Fearghas Gough. He sprinted along the touchline to be brought down three yards short of the try line by a great cover tackle from Tom Smith.

It was however defences that were in the ascendancy with captain Rhys Lakin to the fore ably supported by Jon Crimp, both making several heavy tackles on the opposition. The forwards foraged well but on more than one occasion it was not to the satisfaction of the referee, former Welsh international prop, Ricky Davies.

The penalties conceded kept Penarthians in their own half for most of the next twenty minutes and on one occasion a decent pass from the Penarth centre to the winger would surely have led to a try, but the pass flew wide into touch.

On 30 minutes, Peter Bennett received a head wound in an accidental clash and with blood streaming down his face he was replaced by Dan Watts. 

Old Pens kept trying to run out of defence and Jon Patterson and Poole were both tackled however  it often took the boot of Nathan Facey to relieve the pressure.  Unfortunately, Facey’s involvement at a ruck led to a penalty award to Penarth and a yellow card to the offender.  For the first time Penarth captain Rhys Morgan elected for a kick at goal and Tom Smith obliged with three points.

The half ended two minutes later but not before Poole had limped out of the action to be replaced by Rowan Allcock and Crimp had received an accidental glancing blow to the face from the studs of replacement Spencer Robinson.  The injury was determined serious enough for Crimp to be taken to hospital (along with Bennett) but after stitches to his eyelid and forehead was released with an all-clear to his eye. Bennett was also released with staples in his head wound.

At half time Matt Sutton replaced Crimp and James Roach came on for Gareth Boulton but the second half started in much the same fashion as the first with no quarter given.

The turning point came after 15 minutes when the Penarthians forwards won good line out ball and drove a rolling maul over the tryline with Watts coming up last with the ball.  The conversion from the touchline was kicked successfully by Facey.

Five minutes later the same foundation was laid from a penalty kick to the corner and this time the rolling maul was driven over the line with Josh Allcock the try scorer. Facey was again successful from wide out to give Old Penarthians a 14 – 3 lead.

To their credit Penarth’s young side did not shirk and a move through the threequarters with ten minutes to play released former Penarthian George Kynaston to cut inside two defenders to score a try that went unconverted. 

The match was eventually decided by the more determined Old Penarthians pack led well by Joel deClaire, Adan Cole and Tom Sidford and a drive in the last few minutes by Louis Chandler who was not to be stopped from short-range.  Facey again converted for an Old Penarthians victory by 21 points to 8

Records show that this is the first victory for Old Penarthians in a Boxing Day fixture since December 2000 when a side led by Mark Glover won 27 -7.  In the intervening period there has been one other victory at first XV level when Old Pens were victorious in one of the four league fixtures played by the neighbours when they were in the same division of the WRU structure.  That win was by 27 -18 under the captaincy of Ben House.

After the match both sides enjoyed the celebrations in the clubhouse in the company of the many supporters who had watched the contest and Rhys Lakin was presented with the Memorial Shield by Steve Newman of Penarth watched by Karen Thomas and son Rhys.


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