Nantymoel 14 Penarth 34
1:10pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in Sport
DESPITE another lengthy lay-off, Penarth Rugby Club continued their recent fine away form with a compelling display at the head of Ogmore Vale against bottom club Nantymoel.
The result was hardly a foregone conclusion as the home back division proved to be an accomplished outfit who could have done some real damage if the visiting defence hadn't been as effective as it was.
That and the fact that the Seasiders' pack had picked up where they left off against Cardiff Quins five weeks earlier and sim-ply steamrollered a handy- looking Nantymoel eight.
Making a steady start, the Seasiders went ahead with a penalty from James Candy after only eight minutes, but failed to maintain any sort of momentum as the hosts' back division came back smartly.
A break down the right wing and a chip ahead gave them field position and a penalty, but the outside half's kick was adjudged touch-in-goal.
The 22 drop-out was charged down and a neat passing move saw the full-back entering the line to touch down in the corner.
Penarth continued to dominate, but fell foul of ref- eree Mike Davies' insistence on releasing the ball in the tackle, taking another 20 minutes to regain the lead through Aaron Ellis's sixth try of the season.
The first half ended with two events that would mould the outcome as the second half progressed.
First Ellis came powerfully off the back of an attacking scrum and fed Chris Mortimer who scored spectacularly in the corner.
Then, on the stroke of half- time, as Nantymoel fought to get back into the game, Adan Cole received a yellow card that was a surprise to him and the travelling support.
The Seasiders. therefore, began the second half lead- ing 13-5. but down to 14 men.
The home side had worked out that this was their best chance to recapture the initiative and rapidly notched up two penalties to close the gap to two points.
As early as the 50th minute, this was pretty we their last throw of the dice as the Penarth pack, reinforced by the returning Cole, simply went up a gear and took over.
Two minutes later, a catch-and-drive from a line out actually accelerated as it approached the try line, but the referee didn't wait to see how this would turn out and went between the posts to award a penalty try.
Nantymoel pulled back one last penalty, but they had never looked as if they'd breach the Seasiders'
defence since the opening skirmishes and the Penarth eight ground out another try as Mortimer claimed his second try on the hour.
With the score a more comfortable 27-14. Penarth emptied the bench as Nantymoel let their backs take the initiative.
This might have brought some reward if they'd done it earlier, but the Seasiders defence held firm and there was time for another nimble at the far end and. as the ball was released to the backs, replacement centre Mike Row e feinted to pass outside, but cut Inside to score.
With Penarth now sitting nine points above the relegation zone with two games in hand, they can look forward to calmer tunes ahead, but could really do with another couple of wins from their ten remaining games.
That two of these will be against their nearest rivals, Tonyrefail, should concentrate the mind wonderfully.
The next league game is a rearranged fixture against Pentyrch this coming Friday at the Athletic Field, kick-off 7.15pm.
Rhys Morgan, Henry Mitchell. Ben Donovan. David Jenkins (Mike Rowe). James Crothers, James Candy, Chris Mortimer (Gareth Clancy). Richard Merrett, Joe Page, Sean O'Sullivan, James Beaton. Jon Boland, Adan Cole. Aaron Ellis, Matt Sutton (Dan Hoffmann).
Fridav. February 22 - PENARTH v Pentyrch. The Athletic Field. Lavernock Road.
Kick-off 7 15pm