08 October 2019 / Team News

Old Penarthians RFC v Cefn Coed RFC Match Report

The message on the changing room door that greeted the Old Pens upon arrival at the ‘Black Patch’ in Cefn Coed-y-Cymmer set the tone for the afternoon: ‘Welcome to Hell’, and the home team didn’t disappoint. But in an often turgid affair, it was the away team that overcame the onslaught in a hard-fought 25-16 (3 tries to 2) victory.

Kick-off was delayed to allow for the late arrival of several Old Pens’ players due to work commitments and their lack of pre-match preparation was immediately exposed when the home team opened their account after just 2 minutes with a try scored by one of their two excellent second rows.

After 5 minutes, the visitors had their first meaningful attack when full-back Nathan Facey turned over the ball to unleash Nathan Smith on a scything run but the outside half was well tackled and the first foray into opposition territory was thwarted. The attacking position was not wasted however, and after a scrum in the home 22, number 8 James Beaton delivered great ball from the base and the three-quarters created the space for winger Chris Poole to run in under the posts for a try that was converted by Nathan Facey for a 7-5 lead.

Nathan Facey extended the lead after 18 minutes when the industrious flanker Louis Chandler was subject of a high-tackle and the resultant penalty was converted from 30 metres for a 10-5 lead.

The Old Pens lineout continued to function very effectively and when another lineout was won following a kick ahead from centre Jonathan Crimp, a driving maul was directed expertly by Chandler for a full 20 metres who touched down for an unconverted try.

After an uncertain start to the contest, the Old Pens went into the half-time break with a seemingly comfortable 15-5 lead, but down to 14 men following a yellow card for a high-tackle by Louis Chandler just before the break.

The visitors started the second half in strange fashion, appearing to want to run the ball dangerously from anywhere and were punished just before Louis Chandler was to return from his 10 minute sabbatical. In a flowing move from their own half, Cefn Coed found a disorganised defence easily breached with the winger scoring an unconverted try to reduce the arrears to 15-10.

On the hour mark and after some more desperate defence, a penalty award at a ruck saw the points difference reduced still further when the kick was converted from in front of the posts for a 15-13 score line. Another penalty was soon conceded and the home outside half put his team in the lead 15-16 with a successful kick from 40 metres.

Moments later, the Old Pens’ lead was restored when, after a rare foray into opposition territory, a penalty was awarded and Nathan Facey converted from 35 metres for an 18-16 lead.

The Old Pens were to finally make the game safe when, in the last play of the game, Chris Poole exploited a tiring defence and made an outside break to touchdown under the posts unopposed for his second try converted by Nathan Facey to secure the points 25-16.

Whilst any win at Cefn Coed should be considered a significant achievement, coaches Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies will have been frustrated at just how difficult the team made it for themselves and will be hoping for a more structured performance next weekend when they are scheduled to play Llandaff North at home. The 2nd XV are also in action at home V St Albans 2nd XV with both games kicking-off at 2.30pm

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