Porthcawl 1st XV: 5 Gowerton 1st XV: 24.
Gowerton travelled to Porthcawl in the Aquazone sponsored Ospreys region schools’ league and produced their best performance of the season allowing them to return home with a well deserved win.
The game was one of two very contrasting halves. In the first period, the visitors had the benefit of the slope and wind and dominated both territory and possession. Gowerton’s forwards were on top in all phases. The front row of Tom Northey, Richard Keefe and Rhys Cherry were powerful scrummagers, whilst flanker Max Harris secured a regular flow of possession from the lineouts. Flanker Marcus Besley, lock Ethan Harris and No.8 and captain Joel Young all impressed with their work at the breakdown. With a constant stream of possession, scrum half Milo Fleming was able to keep his team on the front foot with his probing runs around the fringes.
The visitors took the lead in the 5th minute, when an excellent run from flanker Besley allowed him to breach the hosts’ defensive line on half way, scrum half Fleming was in support and he found flanker Harris on his shoulder who crossed for a try that full back Olly Smith converted.
Playing conditions continued to be testing as the rain fell heavily, but Gowerton continued to press and extended their lead in the 16th minute when wing Callum Owen made a break in midfield he fed centre Anthony Osborne whose deft touch belied the difficult conditions and gave centre Shane Harris the space to cross in the corner.
Porthcawl battled hard with No.8 Chris Long carrying powerfully and scrum half Callum Chilcott defending strongly, but it was the visitors who increased their lead in the 25th minute. The hosts looked to counter attack and centre Owen intercepted a pass in their 22 and scored beneath the posts. Full back Smith converted and at the break Gowerton held a 19 point advantage.
The second half was a different story. Porthcawl now had the benefit of the conditions and they used them to enjoy the majority of the territory with scrum half Chilcott a constant threat. However, Gowerton’s defence was resilient with props Northey and Keefe, lock Sam Clark and centre and man of the match Osborne all uncompromising defenders. The visitors refused to yield and increased their lead in the 56th minute with the best try of the game. An initial thrust by centre Owen was halted on halfway, but hooker Cherry burst on to a short ball from scrum half Fleming, he found fly half Steffan Tyrrell and his excellent off load allowed wing Rhodri Tyrrell to cross.
The hosts pressed in the final minutes for a consolation score and were deservedly rewarded on the stroke of full time when fly half Jake Furness scored.
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