Ferndale RFC | 1st Team 18 - 14 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Luke Harris
Conversion 1
Penalty 2
Mathew Stokoe
Try 1
Jonathan Crimp
3 Penalty
Michael Paul Nash
1 Try

Match Report
17 January 2018 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Ferndale Match Report

Last Saturday Old Penarthians travelled away to Ferndale to play the only team below them in Division 3 East Central (B).  It was a proverbial ‘double pointer’ as Old Penarthians battle at the wrong end of the table. 

The weather was a little better than the last time the teams met in Ferndale two years ago when the pitch was more representative of a swimming pool than an area fit for rugby.  The pitch was however very heavy under foot and a south easterly wind favoured the team playing away from the changing room end of the pitch

Old Pens selected to play with the wind in the first half and with a team line-up that showed multiple changes from the side that had performed so well the week before against Treherbert they started positively.  Attacks through Luke Crockett, Geraint Blake and Dave Cooper in the forwards and by Fearghas Gough and Rhys Lakin carried the ball into Ferndale territory. 

Twice Fearghas Gough got away from his opposite number but was bundled into touch by the cover defence. On another occasion he nearly released the ball back in-field as he was tackled but the ball went forward to the supporting Jon Crimp and the opportunity was lost.

Further good runs from Mark Sadler, returning from an 18-month house refurbishment sabbatical, and Tom Sidford almost brought the try that was deserved at this stage of the match.  In the end however the team had to settle for a penalty kick from Crimp on 12 minutes.  Crimp added three more points on 25 minutes for a 6 – 0 lead.

It was good to see that for the first time in a number of weeks that the scrummage was functioning well and Crockett, Copper, and Sidford supported by second rows Tom Rogers and Danny Godfrey were able to give Chris Cobbold a comfortable platform.  This in turn enabled Gareth Clancy the opportunity to release David Lakin and the free running threequarters.

It was a shame that Sam Hall could not be part of the pack this week but unfortunately he suffered a broken wrist during a training session attempting to jump some tyres and falling awkwardly.  Everyone at the club wishes him a speedy recovery.

On 35 minutes came perhaps the deciding moment of the game when an assault on captain Rhys Lakin saw a Ferndale flanker sent from the pitch for violent behaviour but it also resulted in Lakin himself leaving the field for medical attention and he did not return.  He was replaced by Scott McCarthy.

The resulting penalty was kicked by Crimp but the overall affect on the team was detrimental as their talismanic leader was absent for the remainder of the game

To compound matters with the last play of the half and from their first foray into the Old Penarthians twenty-two, Ferndale won a lineout and drove the ball fifteen metres to score a try wide out.  The conversion against the wind was also successful and the interval score was 9 – 7 in favour of Old Pens

With the second half to be played into the wind a solid start was required but as has become usual Old Penarthians pushed the self-destruct button.  They were lucky after three minutes that the Ferndale kicker missed a penalty opportunity from in front of the posts but three minutes later when another silly penalty was conceded Ferndale took the lead for the first time in the match.

It was obvious from the side lines that the pressure from the depleted Ferndale team was mounting but Old Penarthians could not break out of their half.  Several moves in the threequarters seemed to be over elaborated particularly as the players tired on the heavy pitch and then it was the forwards who were pushed back at a scrum and conceded another kickable penalty.  Ferndale accepted the opportunity and increased their lead to 13 – 9.

On 25 minutes Ferndale scored the decisive try when verbal indiscipline cost Penarthians a penalty which was kicked to touch near the goal line. The Ferndale forwards caught the ensuing line-out and with a repeat of their set-up in the first half rumbled over for five points.  The conversion was missed.

This score forced Penarthians to play positive rugby and Dave Lakin, Crimp, Jon Patterson and substitute Mike Nash all made breaks but could not convert the chances.  With three minutes remaining however Josh Allcock, Crockett and Rogers led a forward move into the Ferndale half.  A penalty was awarded and Clancy and Crimp released Nash to score.  The conversion was missed but Penarthians had earned a bonus point and were within reach

The team had one more opportunity and managed to get Sadler free down the left-hand side of the field just outside of the opposition twenty-two.  As he was about to pass to Gough a defender knocked the ball out of his hands, the referee adjudged the ball to have been knocked-on and the game was lost.

This 18 -14 loss was a bitter disappointment to all the players and travelling supporters but everyone knows that it is only hard work and commitment to each other that will change the team’s fortunes.

Next Saturday Old Penarthians are at home to Ynysowen, a team they defeated in the away fixture earlier in the season by 17 points to 12.  The seconds, currently top of CADRU Division 1, travel to Pontyclun.  Both games are due to kick off at 2.30pm

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