Old Penarthians v Cowbridge Match Report
Saturday 11th March 2017
For the second week in a row Old Penarthians 1st XV found themselves on the road for their Division 3 East Central (B) fixture. This time it was a trip along the A48 to Cowbridge. And for the second week in a row it was disappointed players, management and supporters that travelled home in defeat after a match that could so easily have been a victory.
The final score of 35 points to 29 in favour of the home side suggests an entertaining encounter, which it was, but it left everyone wishing for a more focused 80 minute performance.
Just as in the match the previous week against Caerau Ely, Old Penarthians started strongly but conceded a try after 4 minutes from a speculative kick ahead from the Cowbridge outside half. The ball was not collected cleanly in defence and anther fly kick crossed the Old Pens tryline. The Cowbridge centre reacted quickest and touched down for a try which was converted for a 7 – 0 lead.
Another gift on nine minutes from a line out that was overthrown and a series of missed tackles meant another try was conceded and with the game barely started Old Penarthians were looking at a long afternoon ahead.
To their credit the team, which had been depleted by last minute withdrawals and non-arrivals, stuck to their task and after a long touch finding kick from Nathan Facey and two lineouts eight metres from the Cowbridge tryline they managed to get their threequarters into the action.
Joel de Claire won the lineout from a Reggie Blake throw and Tom Sidford carried the ball into contact. The ball was reset and de Claire again received the ball. He passed to Jonathan Crimp who fed Rhys Lakin who drew two defenders. Before the tackle he threw a long pass to winger John Patterson who scored a well worked try, which was unconverted
Penarthians attacked again from the kick off and were rewarded with a penalty just outside the Cowbridge twenty-two. Crimp was successful with the kick and Penarthians were back in the game at 12 points to 8.
Then the lack of concentration was evident again when only from their third visit into the Old Penarthians 22m a ruck was passively defended and Cowbridge scored their third try. The half concluded when from an attacking Cowbridge line out the ball was passed to the their centre and play maker, Ben Wright, who went on an arcing run to the tryline and another unconverted try for a 22 - 8 interval lead. The try also secured Cowbridge a bonus point for scoring four tries.
The half time team talk demanded more effort but that was not apparent when another try was conceded and conversion kicked after just 5 minutes.
The overall feeling was however that the Old Penarthians backs had the speed and flair to match and beat their opposition counterparts and eventually they proved their worth with two quick converted tries of their own. The first came from a kick ahead gathered by deClaire. He passed to Gareth Clancy who then found Crimp just inside his 22. Crimp neatly chipped the ball over the advancing defenders and the ball sat up kindly for Liam Union to collect and outrun the cover from 70m to score under the posts.
Directly from the kick off Matt Stingl, on as a substitute for hard-working Gary Bishop, caught the ball. He committed a couple of defenders and found the ever-present de Claire. He found his threequarters in support and after passes from Crimp and Lakin, Facey kicked ahead deep into Cowbridge territory. Simon Davies gave chase and harried the Cowbridge full back into an error. The loose ball was collected by Facey who scored. Both tries were converted by Crimp and the score was 29 – 22.
With twelve minutes remaining and a draw, or even a victory, now a possibility Old Penarthians unfortunately hit the self-destruct button. They conceded two penalties within kicking range which were accepted by Cowbridge and had captain Crimp sent off for a yellow card offence.
Old Penarthians did however have the last say when another attack from deep eventually saw Liam Union with the ball to step inside the last defender to score, when a pass to the unmarked debutant George Kynaston may have been the easier option. To his credit Union’s decision made the conversion easier and he duly slotted the extra two points.
This meant that Penarthians collected a try scoring bonus point as well as a bonus point for being within seven points of the opposition score.
There is no fixture this Saturday as Six Nations ‘Super Saturday’ takes precedence but there is a return to action for the 1st XV on 25th March at home to Llantwit Major
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