Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team 33 - 15 St Albans RFC | 1st Team
Liam Union
Try 2
Jonathan Crimp
Conversion 3
Penalty 4
Chad Wilson
Try 1

Match Report
31 January 2017 / Team News

Old Penarthians RFC v St Albans RFC

Old Penarthians v St Albans Match Report


Saturday 28st January 2017


Before their Division 3 East Central (B) fixture last Saturday Old Penarthians celebrated the life of their former President Roy Churchill with a minutes applause.  The Churchill family were well represented together with friends and club members and in a moving gesture Roy’s wife, Joyce, stepped forward to acknowledge the accolade and return the applause to the home and visiting team players lined up on the goal line.

The Old Penarthians team did return to some normality this week with a full complement of players and substitutes however it was apparent from the early stages that the recent lack of squad training left the team lifeless and prone to errors.

Fortunately the St Albans opposition are themselves not in the best of shape at the moment, languishing at the foot of the table, and they could not capitalise on the home team’s inadequacies. In the end the Old Penarthians ran out winners by 33 points to 15.  

The team scored three tries and captain Jonathan Crimp was faultless with his kicking and collected 18 points from seven kicks. Luck was with him however with the first two kicks when first a miss kick was hit relatively flat and just skimmed the crossbar and the second bounced onto the crossbar before crossing between the posts. 

And it was a Crimp penalty that started the scoring after 8 minutes when St Albans were penalised at the breakdown after a surge from Reggie Blake supported by Luke Crockett and Rhys Lakin was illegally halted.

The Buns responded by pressurising the Old Penarthians into a mistake at the tackle area and scored a try that was converted. 

On 25 minutes the play was in the opposition 22 and a clearance from the visiting full back failed to reach touch.  Liam Union caught the wayward kick on the half way line about 10m from the touchline and ran the ball back.  As a couple of defenders approached but he managed to sidestep his way through and ran unopposed to the tryline for a converted try and a 13 – 7 Old Penarthians lead.

Old Penarthians continued to attack from firstly a well organised lineout taken by Joel deClaire, driven on by Tom Sidford, Sam Hall and Alun Haines which was broken up by the St Albans defence and then a forward drive from Chris Cobbold, Matt Sutton and deClaire that was resisted when they conceded a penalty.

St Albans cleared their lines and after a few minutes of indecision by the home team the visitors were camped on the Old Pens tryline.  The defence held strong for 4 or 5 forward surges but eventually conceded a try that was not converted.  The half time score left Penarthians leading by one point

The second half could not have started better for the Old Penarthians when Crimp kicked a penalty on 3 minutes, but immediately from the kick off, that was fielded by Sidford and driven forward well, two poor passes and a defensive muddle awarded St Albans a penalty which they kicked for a 16 – 15 scoreline.

That was fortunately the last points scored by the Buns as Old Penarthians showed the greater creativity in the rest of the half.  There was a well worked blind side attack from a scrum that saw deClaire pick up and pass to Simon Davies, happily returned to the side at scrum half.  Davies committed the defending winger before passing to Chad Wilson, on as substitute for Nathan Facey, who charged along the touchline to score a try, converted by Crimp.

The final score came from a well-judged kick ahead from his own 22 by Crimp and the speed of Union who challenged his opposite number when he attempted the catch.  The St Albans player dropped the ball and Union was able to fly-hack ahead before calmly picking the ball up and crossing for a converted try.

Penarthians did attempt to score fourth try which would have given the a bonus point but first a Jon Patterson pass to winger Mark Sadler went astray and then a quick penalty was wasted when Union stepped inside looking for his third try instead of spreading the ball wide to the waiting outside threequarters.

The final whistle did not blow however until the Old Penarthians were reduced to thirteen players when first Blake and then Wilson were shown yellow cards for a trip tackle and bad language respectively.

It is hoped that the squad learn lessons from this match and support the coaches during the week because on Saturday the Old Penarthians 1st XV are away to Cardiff Saracens in another ‘must win’ match in order to establish a platform in mid-table, before a drive forward during and after the Six Nations. The match will kick off at Roath Park at 2.30pm.  

The seconds do not have another fixture until 18th February but their recent run of good form which included a win against Sully View last weekend by 29 – 15 leaves them in third place in the 1st Division of the CADRU leagues.


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