Wednesday 26th September 2017.
Gwyr 1st XV: 7 Gowerton 1st XV: 10.
After last week’s encouraging victory over Neath College in their opening Ospreys schools league game, Gowerton made the short trip across the road to play neighbours Gwyr.
The hosts have a proud record in the competition having been undefeated in both of the first two seasons and as such Gowerton realised they faced a stiff test-so it proved.
At kick off, conditions were far from ideal with the driving wind and rain making it difficult for open expansive rugby.
Gowerton had the wind behind their backs during the first period and the difficult conditions made it hard for both sides to establish any rhythm to their play. The visitors’ best opportunity came when lock Ryan Stagg won good lineout ball which gave the outside backs the chance to attack, but Gwyr’s defensive line refused to yield.
Scrum half Iwan Jones was proving to be increasingly influential and a good kick out of defence enabled the backs to put pressure on the hosts, a good tackle from centre James Northey led to a turnover in Gwyr’s 22. Gowerton applied the pressure, but again couldn’t come away with any points as Gwyr defence continued to hold firm. It wasn’t one way traffic and midway through the half, Gwyr won a lineout in Gowerton’s 22 and it was the visitors turn to defend. The hosts attacked relentlessly, but after several phases, prop Tom McCann won an excellent turn over, allowing centre Cameron Clayfield to clear his lines. Gowerton took the lead in the 28th minute when full back Max Treharne set off on an elusive run from a Gwyr 22 yard drop out, from the ensuing ruck, centre Clayfield kicked the ball into space in Gwyr’s 22 and a Gowerton scrum followed. No.8 Matthew Hutchinson picked up, and from quick ruck ball, Clayfield sliced through the defensive line to score the game’s opening try. Scrum half Jones added the extras.
Gowerton stretched their lead to 10 points with the final play of the half when Gwyr were penalised for not releasing in their 22 and Iwan Jones converted the penalty.
With conditions now favouring Gwyr, it was the hosts who started the second half on the front foot. In the early stages Gowerton were forced to defend and were well served by the defensive work of flanker Tim Perkins and wings Lewis Hyatt and Adam Beddow.
Gradually, Gowerton’s forwards got on top and with fly half Dexter Ryde kicking intelligently into the wind and with props Kai Pressdee and Ethan Hall both carrying well and hooker and man of the match Ben Brown ferocious in ruck defence and driving tirelessly with ball in hand, they made it difficult for the hosts to take advantage of the elements and establish field position.
Gwyr’s defence continued to repulse Gowerton’s attacks and they set up a tense finish, when with 10 minutes left, they crossed for a try from a well constructed move after a scrum 30 metres out. The conversion was added but with defences on top for the rest of the game it was Gowerton who celebrated a narrow, but deserved win at the final whistle.
Clifford hat-trick puts yr 8 on top.
Olchfa year 8: 10 Gowerton year 8: 17.
Year 8 travelled to play neighbours Olchfa and the two sides produced an excellent game of rugby with the visitors eventually coming out on top three tries to two.
Gowerton held the advantage at forward with hooker Marley Bushell and props Charlie Owen and Owen Evans all strong in the contact area allowing their side to dominate the rucks. Olchfa had the livelier backs, well marshalled by half backs Harry Hughes and Cole Amphlett and with centre Bobby Ryan a constant threat with his powerful running.
The early stages were evenly matched, but the deadlock was broken in the 14th minute with an outstanding individual try by lock Andrew Clifford. Good link up work between centres Cian Jenkins and Cai Rees gave lock Clifford space on half way, he burst clear but still had lots to do with three covering defenders to beat, however, he showed both excellent footwork and a fine turn of pace to cross for a score that fly half Jake Riordan converted.
The hosts enjoyed the better of the next quarter and crossed twice before the break. First, centre Ryan crossed following good work from fly half Hughes and then Jacob Rosser gave his side the lead after Rio Booth and scrum half Amphlett had combined well.
Gowerton bounced back strongly when full back and captain Nino Romanello counter attacked from deep inside his own half, he found wing Luca Garner-Beynon in support, who in turn used scrum half Lewis Roberts, he took the ball into the hosts ’22. The hosts’ defence initially held firm, but lock Clifford was again on hand to power over and regain his side the lead.
Both sided pressed for the next score, realising that it could be crucial in giving their side victory and it was Gowerton that scored it, with man of the match Clifford completing his hat-trick when he outpaced the cover to score from 40 metres.
In the dying minutes, Olchfa pushed for another score, that could give them a share of the spoils, but Gowerton’s defence refused to yield and both wings Madoc Jenkins and Cameron Harris made telling contributions that helped to keep their line in tact.
Year 9 undone by Olchfa’s pace.
Olchfa year 9: 51 Gowerton year 9: 14.
Gowerton year 9.
Back from left: Jake Price, Billy Mansell, Henry Aiono, Vikran Sanghera, Will Thomas, Raffi Richards, Robyn Williams, Joe Hawkins-Cole, Taylor John, Alfie Woodcock, Tom Griffiths, Lois Dann, Mr Conor Cullen (coach).
Front from left: Jamie Bevan, Chris Davies, Ceiron Williams, Sam Wells, Caradog Kaniewski, Finley Dicks, Rhys Searle, Billy Davies, Zac Cook, Scott Howells.
Year 9 found it tough against an impressive Olchfa side and were outdone by the pace and elusive running of their backline.
Gowerton lost a number of key players due to injury both before and during the game, but nevertheless produced some great play that led to tries by Taylor John and the impressive Alfie Woodcock.
Olchfa tries were scored by Sam Petherbridge, Rhys Wilkley, Iestyn Jones, Harvey James, Bryn Packer and Rhys Gilkes.
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