13 February 2019 / Club News

Old Penarthians Mid-season Report

Old Penarthians 1st XV did not have a fixture last weekend so it is an opportunity to review the season to date and to comment on the improvement of the team now under the coaching leadership of Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies for the fourth season

After the troubles of last season when relegation from Division 3 East Central (B) was only avoided in the last three weeks of April the team has bounced back to be competitive in nearly all of the games played so far this year.

The season started with an away game to Tonyrefail without re-elected captain Rhys Lakin and his lieutenant Jon Crimp but saw the debut of Chris Poole who scored the first two tries of his eight-try season in a 16 -14 defeat.

Other new starters in that game were Matt Sutton, Scott Mackie, Adan Cole, Louis Chandler and James Beaton.  These players have all played for the club in previous seasons but have decided to re-join Old Penarthians to play together and enjoy each other’s company both on and off the field.  Their introduction to the side has added much needed experience, strength and resilience. 

Tomos Hillman also made his Club debut that day at scrum half, replacing the eternally young Gareth Clancy, and joining him at half back in late October was Nathan Smith.

The core of the side was however retained from last season and Joel deClaire, Tom Sidford, Jon Paterson, Fearghas Gough, Josh Allcock and Sam Hall have all benefited from the introduction of the new blood.  Particular mention must go to prop forward Hall who has started and completed 16 of the 17 competitive games played this season.

Other players to have appeared at some time in 16 matches are Mackie, Patterson and Hillman. Thirty-eight players have represented the team but twenty of them have played in more than half the games.  It is a much better representation than last season when over 50 players turned out for the first XV.

In all, the team has played 17 matches, winning 11 and losing 6. In the process the side has scored 286 points and conceded 254.  Top try scorer with eight is Poole.  Top points scorer is Nathan Facey with 60 points including 1 try, narrowly ahead of Jon Crimp who is the leading points scorer with his boot with 57 points.

These seventeen games include two WRU Bowl fixtures and the ‘friendly’ fixture on Boxing Day against near neighbours Penarth.  Two of these fixtures were victories for Old Pens with the win over Penarth particularly satisfying.  In the defeat against Fairwater in the Bowl Old Penarthians received compliments from their higher-league opponents for the tenacity of the defence in a game that was not decided until the last five minutes.

Of the fourteen league fixtures played to date the team has won nine and lie fifth in the 12-team division with 40 points.  Ahead of them are Treherbert with 41 points (from 12 games), Caerau Ely with 44 (from 16), St Albans with 50 (from 14) and high-flying Canton with 68 (from 14).

In January Old Pens have beaten Treherbert at home by 35 points to 5 and St Albans away by 14 -12.  They now entertain Canton this Saturday and welcome the challenge to inflict defeat on Canton for the first time this season.  It will also be an opportunity for Liam Bevan to extend his record of five wins from five matches since his introduction to the team at the start of 2019.

Of the other seven games, two are against Caerau and two against bottom team Glyncoch.  Tonyrefail, Wattstown and Ynysowen complete the fixture list. With a continued commitment from the players and the off-field support from team management, Chris Thorne, John Bruno and Andy Peterson, together with the enthusiastic support from the touchline there is no reason why the team cannot climb higher in the league.

Very much part of the Club are a regular 2nd XV and an irregular Veterans XV providing competitive and social rugby to other groups of players who are either beginning their careers or bringing down the curtains on previous illustrious playing careers

Under the enthusiastic leadership of captain Alex Lewis, the second XV have played nine games in CADRU league division 1 and attended two ‘Game-On’ festivals, an initiative launched by the WRU to encourage clubs to participate in rugby without necessarily being able to field full fifteens.

The Veterans under Stuart Gunnarrson have so far played only one fixture against a very competitive St Peters team but are scheduled to play three more matches before the end of the season including one on the 4G pitch at Cardiff Arms Park against a touring American university team on 13th March. It will be a return to the venue for many of the players who competed in a Youth XV cup final in the mid 1990’s.

This Saturday Old Penarthians entertain Canton whilst the 2nd XV host Cathays. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 2.30pm.

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments