Gowerton School 1st XV: 28 Ysgol Bro Myrddin 1st XV:17.
Following their Welsh cup victory over Ystalyfera, Gowerton entertained Ysgol Bro Myrddin at the Elba in the Welsh schools’ league and` were keen to maintain their recent impressive form.
Present Welsh fly halves Dan Biggar and Rhys Priestland had attended the two schools and it was Biggar’s former home-Gowerton that came out on top in a game that was a fittingly competitive fixture between the schools that nurtured Wales’ two incumbents of the No.10 shirt.
The early stages of the game saw both teams dangerous with the ball in hand. For the visitors, No.8 and captain Alex Williams was prominent as a ball carrier. For the hosts, props Richard Keefe and Dylan Treharne and the back row of Joel Young, Scott Smith and Morgan Curtis were on top in the forward exchanges.
During the first quarter, defences dominated with the visitors’ hooker Sion Jones tackling strongly and his side opened the scoring in the 25th minute, when a long kick ahead bounced awkwardly for the hosts’ defence and wing Guto Morgans pounced to gather and score a try that was converted by centre Josh Watson.
Gowerton replied almost immediately when strong running centre Jordon Liney burst through the visitors’ defence. He was tackled in the 22 but hooker Rhys Cherry was on hand to pick up and power over despite the attentions of 3 defenders. Full back Tom Howell converted to tie the scores.
Bro Myrddin were back in front a minute later when poor defending allowed centre Celt Eustace to brush off several would be tacklers to score a fine individual try that centre Watson again converted.
The second period started with Bro Myrddin in the ascendancy and aided by the ill discipline of their opponents they stretched their lead to ten points when Gowerton conceded a penalty on their 22 and Watson stepped up to convert it.
The hosts continued to impress with the handling and running angles of their backs with centre Liney, full back Howell and wing Rob James all causing problems, but they continued to concede penalties regularly which stopped them from developing any fluency to their attacks.
In the final quarter, it was Gowerton who finished the stronger and with a quarter of an hour left they reduced the arrears when flanker Luke Snell won an excellent turnover on the visitors 22 and hooker Cherry again showed both his power and pace to score a try that full back Howell converted.
Gowerton were now on the front foot and they pushed for the score that would give them the lead. It duly came with three minutes to go when great work by centre Steffan Tyrrell gave co-centre Liney the chance to dive over for a try that was again converted by Howell. It was the hosts who had the final word when an intelligent chip through by full back Howell was gathered, fittingly by man of the match Liney, who scored. Howell added the extras and Gowerton’s late flurry had seen them clinch a deserving victory.
Bro Myrddin’s Josh Watson is tackled by Gowerton’s Morgan Curtis. Callum Lewis, Scott Smith and Callum Macdermott are close at hand.
Mixed fortunes for Gowerton’s year 9 team.
Gowerton year 9: 17 Gwyr year 9: 24.
Gowerton’s year 9 rugby team hosted neighbours Gwyr and Penyrheol in friendly fixtures at the Elba. Both games were very competitive and the teams were only separated by a score each time.
Against Gwyr, it was the visitors who started quickly and they scored two tries in the first quarter. The first came when centre Iwan Richards ran an excellent angle to receive a short pass and score. Then an incisive break by Richards allowed his co-centre Rhydian Luckwell to score the second try. Fly half Josh Thomas added the conversion.
Gowerton had started slowly and trailed by twelve points but they now took control of the game with forwards Will Jones, Joe Brightkey and Ethan Guy all working tirelessly and they provided half backs Patrick Langdon-Dark and Sam Nicholson with plenty of possession which allowed them to probe for opportunities intelligently. Either side of half time, Gowerton scored three tries. The first came when No.8 Adam Gammon took a penalty quickly and drove over the try line powerfully. Early in the second half lock Guy produced a similar driving run that produced a second try, fly half Dexter Ryde added the conversion that tied the scores. The hosts were ahead when an excellent tactical kick by fly half Ryde drove the visitors back deep inside their 22. Lock Will Jones stole the lineout and a cohesive drive by the forwards allowed flanker Brightkey to score.
Gwyr were not going to go down without a fight and they deservedly scored twice in the final five minutes of the game. With time running out, full back Cory Williams gathered a loose kick and returned it with interest to score an excellent individual try. Then with the final move of the match wing Llyr Gealy crossed for a try that confirmed Gwyr’s win 24-17.
Gowerton year 9 rugby team:
Back row from left: Rhys Baker, Sam Nicholson, Ieuan Burgess, Dexter Ryde, Will Jones, Ethan Guy, coach Mr. Ayre, Adam Gammon, Jack Soproniuk and Joe Brightkey.
Kneeling from left: Joe Legg, Aled Simons, Max Treharne, Cian Matthews, Ryan Jones, Sean Collins, Sam Cambriani (captain), Rhys Penry, Adam Fielding, Sam Jones and Patrick Langdon-Dark.
Gowerton year 9: 29 Penyrheol year 9: 25.
Gowerton then bounced back against Penyrheol achieving victory by virtue of their two conversions in a game that the two teams shared ten tries.
At kick off, conditions were perfect for open running rugby and neither team disappointed. Gowerton got off to a flying start and with centre Sam Cambriani and man of the match, scrum half Patrick Langdon-Dark dictating play impressively they raced into a 24 point lead inside the first 20 minutes scoring four unanswered tries. In the 3rd minute, a fine offload by wing Sam Nicholson allowed centre Adam Fielding to burst clear for a try that fly half Dexter Ryde converted. From the kick off the hosts reclaimed the ball confidently and centre Cambriani’s long kick was reclaimed by No.8 Joe Brightkey allowing flanker Jack Soproniuk to cross for a try that fly half Ryde again converted. In the 8thminute a move down the blindside of a scrum freed wing Sean Collins who sprinted from half way to score in the corner. Ten minutes later, the game appeared almost over when good work from full back Max Treharne, wing Nicholson and No.8 Brightkey allowed centre Fielding to cross for his second try. The visitors now showed their resilience and cut the deficit before half time when good work by centre Evan Budge allowed fly half Lewis Edwards to score.
Buoyed by this score, Penyrheol dominated the second period with No.8 Luke Davies and centre Budge both having a major influence on the turn around. In the 33rd minute full back Rhys Gear outpaced the cover to score in the corner.
Despite being on the back foot the hosts still carried a threat and they stretched their lead when wing Collins ran a great angle to take a short ball from centre Cambriani and sprint from halfway for his second try.
The pace of the visitors’ outside backs was causing Gowerton’s defence problems and they scored three unanswered tries in the final quarter. The first came from wing Jack Cousins and the other two were scored by full back Gear allowing him to complete his hat trick.
The final try came with two minutes left and with the visitors on the front foot the result was very much in the balance. With the final play of the game, wing Cousins set off on a run from deep within his 22, he sprinted clear and looked likely to go the length of the field to score a try that would gain his side victory, however, wing Sean Collins denied him with a fantastic cover tackle and when Penyrheol were penalised at the ensuing ruck the ball was cleared and the final whistle followed much to the relief of the home team.