Old Penarthians v Tylorstown Match Report
Saturday 18th February 2017
After a couple of weeks off due to an unplayable pitch at Cardiff Saracens and the thrilling Wales v England international, Old Penarthians returned to Division 3 East Central (B) league action at home against Tylorstown.
In the away fixture earlier in the season Old Penarthians had a surprising but well deserved victory at Tylorstown by 16 points to 12. Since then Old Penarthians have won only two matches but Tylorstown have climbed to fourth in the table. Tylorstown therefore travelled to Cwrt-y-vil in confident mood that they would return home with the spoils.
They did however underestimate the tenacity and skills of the home team that ensured they journeyed north having suffered another defeat by 16 points to 5.
The game got off to the best possible start for Old Penarthians when from the kick off the ball was caught by Tom Sidford who passed to Joel de Claire who ran into midfield. He managed to get the ball away to John Patterson who ran through into Tylorstown territory. Unfortunately the ball was turned over at the ruck after support from the forwards but the defending kick did not find touch and it was gathered by Nathen Facey. Facey send up a high return but he was obstructed and the referee awarded a penalty which Jonathan Crimp converted from 25m to the right of the posts.
Tylorstown responded well and for the next 15 minutes they were camped in the Penarthians 22. A mixture of solid tackling particularly around the ruck area by Sidford, Rhys Lakin, Luke Crockett and Matt Sutton ensured that the home team try line was not breached. This was aided by some poor decision making by the visitors who on three occasions declined kicks at goal opting for line outs or scrums instead. On each occasion the Old Penarthians defence held firm.
Old Pens did relieve some of the pressure with measured kicks up field by Facey and Gareth Clancy and from one of those ventures into the Tylorstown half de Claire managed to steal the ball at a ruck. He scrambled the ball back for Sidford to fall on and pass to Crimp. He in turn passed to Patterson who made ground before passing to Liam Union on the left wing.
The winger seeing the cover going across field jinked back inside twice and as he was about to be tackled off-loaded to the supporting Crimp who crossed under the posts unopposed. Crimp converted for a 10 – 0 lead which was maintained until half time.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with a penalty kick from Crimp after 2 minutes. This opportunity came however from the good work by the forwards. Initially Crockett was prevented from stealing the ball at a ruck illegally. The penalty was kicked to the corner by Facey.
An accurate throw by Simon Barry found de Claire who passed immediately to Sidford to spin forward with support from the ageless Alun Haines, Sam Hall, Chris Cobbold and the rest of the forwards. As the forwards approached the line the movement was stopped illegally and the referee awarded a penalty. Old Penarthians now led 13 – 0
Another penalty with 10 minutes to play was kicked by Crimp and the home supporters and the team management were sensing a victory.
The team do not however make it easy on themselves and with five minutes to play and with territorial advantage Penarthians decided to throw some extravagant passes in mid field and it allowed Tylorstown to pick up the loose ball and after a couple of quick passes they scored a try in the corner. The conversion was missed and the score was 16 - 5.
All that was needed now was a few important decisions and composure from the kick off and the game would be won. This was achieved but not before Cobbold saw yellow for an off-side decision that for most of the game had gone in his favour as he had harried the opposition half-backs throughout the afternoon and despite the penalty count being much higher for the visitors.
A deserved victory that will hopefully encourage all players to rejoin the training sessions for an advance up the table over the next month of fixtures
There is no league fixture this weekend but at lunchtime the Veterans team will take to the field at 12noon as they host a Veterans team from Porth Harlequins RFC, before the more serious action takes place at Murrayfield when Scotland host Wales in the next round of the Six Nations matches
Old Penarthians next first team fixture is away to Caerau Ely on Saturday 4th March. Kick off at 2.30pm
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