Written by Local Contributor

Seasiders start league season in style

18th November 2021

Admiral National League
Division Three East Central A
Penarth 38-0 Old Illtydians

Penarth welcomed league rugby back to the Athletic Field for the first time since February 2020 in fine style with a bonus point win that seems them sit atop of Division 3A East Central, albeit after only one round of fixtures.

It was not a complete performance, but it was a huge improvement on recent efforts, which will be a much needed confidence boost for this team, which seems to thrive on positivity.

The significance of the match was clear from the start with both sides having struggled badly in the Bowl competition and ended up footing their respective tables, although in Penarth’s case only because the Old Pens failed to complete the competition.

What became clear in the opening salvos was that Penarth were a superior outfit but that nerves were certainly playing a part.

Penarth dominated territory and possession throughout the match but some poor handling and panicky decision making saw them take only 3 points, from the boot of Andy Richards, in the first quarter of the game.

Things did improve slowly throughout the half, and a now customary Spencer Robinson snipe around the fringes saw the scrum half break the defensive line and beat the cover to score Penarth’s first try of the afternoon.

There was more domination to follow from the home side, particularly in the scrum, and on the stroke of half time, a five-metre scrum was the platform for Robinson to feed Tom Luck, with the big centre needing no invitation to cap his 100th cap for the club with a try as he bundled over from short range.

The second half started as the first had ended with Penarth in complete control and on the offensive.

A number of penalties deep in the visitors half cumulated in Alan Doyle seeing an opportunity to take a quick tap and power his way to Penarth’s third try of the afternoon.

There then followed a bit of a rarity as the Old Illts finally had a sustained period in the Penarth half.

Unfortunately for the visitors, they were unable to take any points or cause any real problems for Penarth in this period and the home side were easily able to absorb the pressure and ultimately relieve it completely.

The remainder of the game was some what of a procession for Penarth, and first, Tom Griffiths, and then, Richie Bowen put the icing on the cake with tries to secure the bonus point and the win.

Andy Richards completed a perfect day with the boot by converting all five tries as well as his early penalty.

There will be much sterner tests than this to come for Penarth, not least of all against Fairwater next time out, but they can take much confidence from this solid performance although there is still plenty of room for improvement.

PENARTH: Rhys Morgan (c), George Roberts (James Crothers), Andy Richards, Tom Luck, Ben Wellington, James Candy (Kevin Maddox), Spencer Robinson (Ellis Shewring), Geraint Williams (AJ Jones), Tom Griffiths (Mason Good), Alan Doyle, Andy Lang, Cam Sultana, Josh Barden, Richie Bowen, Miles Jones

Try scorers: Spencer Robinson (T), Tom Luck (T), Alan Doyle (T), Tom Griffiths (T), Richie Bowen (T)
Andy Richards - five conversions and a penalty

Next fixture: Fairwater v Penarth - Saturday 27th November (2.30pm ko)

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