Tuesday 4th April 2017.
Edwards’ hat-trick helps yr 10 power to the final
Gowerton year 10: 41 Bishopston year 10: 0
Year 10 hosted Bishopston in the semi final of the Swansea Schools cup in a game played in sunny but blustery conditions at the Elba. Gowerton made their intentions clear from the start with an excellent first tackle from wing Olly Bruce setting the tone for a strong defensive effort.
In the early stages, Gowerton’s pack held the upper hand with captain Mabon Kaniewski and Ethan Hall both carrying strongly, and back rowers Josh Thomas and Jacob Rees working hard on the fringes to secure loose ball.
The hosts opened the scoring after 7 minutes when a great throw from hooker Rhys Flower at a lineout in the Bishopston 22 found lock Connor Williams, and in the ensuing driving maul flanker Jacob Rees controlled the ball at the back to claim the first try that went unconverted.
The Bishopston defence was being severely tested, but good defensive work by the visitors’ backs prevented Gowerton centres Jacob Turatto and Charlie Williams from crossing to extend their lead. In the 14th minute, a powerful run from prop and man of the match Ethan Hall led to him popping the ball to supporting lock Williams who in turn offloaded to lively scrum half Joel Matuschke. Hall was on hand to take a short ball only to be bundled into touch short of the line by another excellent tackle.
With the hosts’ fly-half Charlie Smith controlling the game well, his forwards grew in confidence and were able to continually recycle the ball, allowing them to stretch the visitors’ defence until inevitably they were penalised 5m from their line. Alert scrum half Joel Matuschke tapped it quickly and fed powerful prop John Edwards who powered over for a try that scrum half Matuschke converted. A clash of heads meant centre Charlie Williams had to be replaced by Kobe Bowen.
Gowerton stretched their lead on the stroke of half time. Some excellent lineout work by back rower Alex Jones won his side possession, the forwards put together several good phases which ended with prop Hall crashing over for a try. Scrum half Matushke added the extras and Gowerton led 19-0 at the break.
The general pattern remained the same in the early stages of the second period. Gowerton were on the front foot with winger Ben Petherbridge and full back Matthew Newcombe both looking dangerous when attacking from deep constantly probing for weaknesses in the visitors’ defence.
Bishopston looked to attack whenever they had possession but were unable to breach Gowerton’s unyielding defence and it was Gowerton who stretched their lead when fly half Smith found a gap and offloaded to prop Edwards who powered over for the games fourth try, Matuschke added the extras.
A strong bench allowed fresh legs to come on for Gowerton and hooker Jac Simons, wing Dan Warne, scrum half Tom Davies, flanker Rhys Jones and No.8 Matthew Hutchinson were soon in the thick of the action. A quick tapped penalty by Hutchinson allowed John Edwards to complete his try hat trick.
Then following a Gowerton scrum, centre Kobe Bowen and wings Warne and Petherbridge combined well and although the visitors dealt with their initial thrust, from the resulting scrum No.8 Hutchinson freed strong running Tim Perkins who scored out wide. The final play of the game saw the visitors kick the re-start deep, it was fielded by Tom Davies behind his own try line, he passed to Tim Perkins who made good yards and passed to supporting prop Edwards, centre Turatto continued the move into the opposition 22, his inside ball was knocked back by a Bishopston hand, and quick thinking lock Alex Jones reacted first to kick the loose ball through and claim the game’s final try.
Gowerton play Olchfa in the final.
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