Gowerton and Christ College produce a fitting tribute to former Head of PE.
Gowerton 1st XV: 31
Christ College, Brecon: 36.
Gowerton School entertained Christ College, Brecon under floodlights at Gowerton RFC. The match was the 4thannual game played in memory of Gowerton’s much respected former Head of PE, Robert Evans. The two teams produced a great game that entertained a healthy crowd which included Gowerton old boys Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Sam Davies.
At kick off, conditions were ideal for open rugby and neither team disappointed, playing the game at a high pace which saw the ball in play for long periods. The game contained ten tries, but those scores came as a result of skilful rugby rather than poor defence.
The visitors were quickly into their stride and fly half James Newey gave an early indication of the threat he posed with his strong running, but Gowerton’s defence was unflinching with No.8 and captain Joel Young, flanker Marcus Besley and prop Richard Keefe all uncompromising defenders.
It was Gowerton, who took the lead in the 8th minute. Watching fly halves Biggar and Davies must have been impressed when last year’s Wales under 16 fly half Phil Jones made a break on his 22 and showed real pace to sprint 60 metres upfield. He was tackled just short of the line, but possession was recycled quickly and moved wide for centre Callum Owen to touch down. Fly half Jones added the extras.
Christ College responded immediately with two tries in five minutes. The first came when impressive scrum half Will Trumper spotted a gap down the blind side of a ruck and showed the defenders a ‘clean pair of heels’ to sprint 30 metres to score in the corner. Fly half Newey converted from the touchline.
The visitors were in front in the 13th minute when a series of attacks wore down Gowerton’s defence and allowed wing Will Perkins to cross in the corner.
In the 20th minute, Gowerton crossed for their second try when flanker Besley dived over from close range after a series of driving mauls on the visitors’ line. Jones’s excellent conversion gave his side the lead.
The game continued to flow from end to end, and Christ College were back in front when they replied with a similar score and after a series of ‘pick and drives’ lock Jacob Williams powered over. On the stroke of half time, Gowerton were level, when Jones kicked a penalty from 20 metres after the visitors were penalised for not releasing in the tackle.
At the start of the second half, the visitors’ pack began to gain the upper hand in the contact area with hooker Trystan Williams and prop Shupal Shrestha both working tirelessly and they took the lead in the 40th minute when No.8 Alex Ryan plunged over from close range. Then in the 49th minute a fine arcing 40 metre run from pacey centre and captain Alex Bush took him around the defence and with fly half Newey adding both conversions their lead was stretched to 14 points.
Gowerton refused to fold and were back within a score in the 55th minute when scrum half Leighton Lamb tapped a penalty quickly and dived over for a try that Jones converted. With 10 minutes to go Gowerton were penalised on half way. The visitors kicked to the corner and although the ball spilled out from the driving lineout, lock Williams was first to react and gather and score.
Gowerton continued to push forward and were rewarded with six minutes left when the visitors spilled a ball under pressure on their 22 and man of the match, centre Owen gathered and sprinted to touch down beneath the posts. Jones’s conversion reduced the deficit to five points
The final minutes saw Gowerton pressing for a match winning score, but Christ College’s defence was unyielding and at full time they were rewarded with a hard earned but deserved win.
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