1st XV: 19 Rainey Grammar School (NI)

1st XV impress against Irish visitors.

XVcyntaf Tregwyr 19 Ysgol RamadegRainey(G.I) 15
Gowerton1st XV:19RaineyGrammar School (N.I):15
  Georgia Davies with her host Keiran Lynch.
Amddiffyncadarn ynallweddol yn y buddugoliaeth dros yr ymwelwyr o Derry.
Strong defence is the key to victory over Londonderryvisitors’.
Gowerton entertained the visiting Rainey Grammar School from Londonderryat Waunarlwydd RFC. It was the second time they had hosted their visitors from Northern Irelandand having lost to them when they played them previously in 2009, they knew they would be in for a tough encounter.
Morgan Curtis with his host Diarmuid Devlin.
In the early stages it was Gowerton who looked the stronger with their backs, ably marshalled by fly half Mathew Protheroe, posing the greatest threat and they deservedly took the lead in the 8th minute when scrum half Jonny Lloyd taking advantage of a visitors’ mistake on half way and launched a counter attack that saw full back Sam Evans burst clear, his well timed pass allowed debutant wing Matthew Williams to cross in the corner. Evans added the extras with an excellent touchline conversion.
The visitors’ powerful and well drilled pack began to establish an advantage at forward and with Gowerton conceding penalties regularly through a lack of discipline at the contact area they were able to establish territorial superiority and it was no surprise in the 27th minute when Gowerton were penalised on their ‘22’ that the visitors kicked the penalty to the corner and efficiently drove over from the resulting lineout with hooker Sam Hawe claiming the try.
Nia Devonald with her hosts Gavin Wray and Oisin Quinn.
This score appeared to spark the hosts into action and in the 30th minute lock Rhys Cherry picked up and powered over for a score after a sniping run by fly half Protheroe was halted just short of the line. Protheroe added the conversion.
The hosts replied on the stroke of half time when their forwards combined well and following a number of pick and drives flanker Eunan Shaw crossed and Gowerton’s half time lead was 14-10.
In the second half, Rainey’s forwards continued to hold the advantage, particularly in the lineouts, but Gowerton’s defence was unflinching with forwards Morgan Curtis, Tom Bebb, James Tanner, Tom Wedlake, Sam Pridgeon and Joel Young all to the fore. On several occasions hooker Marcus Besley turned poor ball into good possession and was awarded man of the match for his committed and skilful performance.
Emma Kieft with her hosts Rigan Sanderson and Sam Hawe.
In the 48th minute, Gowerton increased their lead when Besley again rescued possession and from the ruck, prop Tanner drove over.
The visitors pressed in the final quarter and Gowerton’s defence was eventually breached in the 67th minute when flanker Gary Monaghan finished off after a series of pick and drives from his pack.
With time almost up on the clock, Rainey looked for the winning score, but Gowerton were not going to be denied and at the final whistle they had gained a notable scalp.
The two teams were also involved in a keenly contested 2nd XV fixture in which both teams crossed for four tries. Rainey won 29-20 by virtue of the 3 conversions and a penalty they kicked. For Gowerton, captain and centre Will Bromham scored a hat-trick of tries and prop Aaron Smith grabbed the fourth.

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