20 December 2017 / Club News

Dominant First XV beat Old Penarthians 0-23 after lengthy layoff

The First XV finally got back onto the pitch last weekend when they crossed the Vale to take on Old Penarthians at the Cwrt-y-Vil Playing Field in this league fixture. Both sides had the bit between their teeth as they took the field as neither had seen any action for five weeks due to the Autumn Internationals and weather postponements.

Subsequently  the first period was a bit of a stale mate and a scrappy affair as the two packs dusted off the cobwebs and sized each other up. The only points been taken by the Llantwit as outside half Lawrence Howley kicked a penalty on a rare venture into the opponents twenty two.
Then with Old Pens now down to fourteen players with a player in the sin bin Llantwit slowly started to edge possession and exert some authority on the game, especially in the scrum. But as much as they tried they couldn’t convert their effort and field positions into points on the board, and at times were guilty of trying to play too much rugby too soon in hunting for the try line.
As the game approached the half time break the first try eventually came but not an easy score as Llantwit were camped on their own try line and the home side were rewarded with a 5m scrum. The thoughts with Llantwit no doubt just wanting to up their defence and keep their opponents out before the break. That is all except for blind side winger Rhys Balmont who had other ideas, and as the scrum was wheeled towards him and their number eight picked up he read the play beautifully as he interecepted the first pass and set off down the tram line with the entire back line on his tail. Balmont though had enough gas in the tank to outpace them after covering the entire length of the field and slide over in the corner for a great unconverted try. 
The referees whistle soon following to give the Llantonians an eight point lead at half time.
The start of the second half mirrored the first twenty minutes as both packs threw everything into the set pieces and contact areas as Old Pens tried desperately to get some reward for their efforts but Llantwit were by now well settled back into their game plan and were soaking up the pressure and just it appeared waiting for the home side to break. And another three point penalty from Howley increased the lead.
Another try was sure to come with the visitors now dominant and it soon did with some lovely running from Stuart Edbrooke. The move started by the heavies up front as they took possession onto the home sides twenty two and then some quick ball allowed Steff Godwin to throw a quick pass out to centre Edbrooke who was already on the charge at a great angle to burst through the first tackle, then on straighting up he left the second tackler grasping for air as he stepped outside him. The flair wasn’t over the either as the shy and retiring character that is Edbrooke finished it off with an audacious dive over the whitewash that even Tom Daley would have been proud of! The try converted by Howley.
The third try wasn’t long after coming after some good field positioning was gained with a huge punt from centre Josh Austin which the home defence was only able to clear as far as the twenty two. The resultant line out was secured and rumbled forward a few metres and just as the home defence braced for a driving maul Llantwit foiled them with releasing the ball quickly across the backs. The threequarters then moved the ball wonderfully costs the line with dummy runners and misspasses confusing both defenders and spectators alike. The last wide pass though at first seemed to bring the move to an end as it bounced across the ground but Edbrooke managed to get a boot to it and hack it through and as it bounced across the try line and was heading for the dead ball touch line,  wing Callum Stephens was on hand to pounce on it and secure the try.
That was the final score to give Llantwit a well deserved victory in a real hard game as Old Pens are a stubborn side who asked questions of the visitors righ to the final whistle.
Man of the Match was Jac Davies whose work rate in the back row was phenomenal particularly in number of carries he made. Further mention going to locks Joe Hartley and replacement Dan Bawden who had fine games; and strong tackling wing Stephens whose try was just reward in his comeback and first game from a lengthy injury. 
There was it must be said big performances across the twenty players and the coaches will have a difficult task ahead of them as they select their future teams as more players join the squad in coming back from injuries.
Unfortunately there are no fixtures this week as the WRU have allocated the weekend as a Christmas break. However the following week Saturday the 30th of December is a humdinger as its Derby Day in the National League and we welcome high flying league leaders Cowbridge to the Recreation Ground. And that fixture needs no further explanation! Kick off is at 2:30pm
The young Llantonians were also in action last weekend as the youth took on Dinas Powys back at the Recreation Ground in their own league encounter. The youth taking the spoils with a 20-15 win, the tries coming from Tom Slimings, Dylan Holloway and Ieuan Moss. With Holloway adding five points to his tally from kicks.















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