High penalty count proves too much for 1st XV to overcome.
Gowerton travelled to Bryntirion for their quarter final of the Welsh schools under 18 cup competition. Both teams were excited at being two games away from a cup final appearance at the Millennium Stadium and had taken notable scalps en route to this stage of the competition with Gowerton having defeated Ystalyfera and the hosts having beaten last year’s finalists Coleg Sir Gar.
Gowerton drive towards the Bryntirion try line.
It was the hosts who progressed to the semi final gaining a 22-0 win that was based on the power of their forwards and the excellent goal kicking of fly half Harrison Evans who kicked 17 points in very difficult conditions for kickers as Gowerton conceded a raft of penalties to their opponents.
Bryntirion were first to threaten and opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when Gowerton were penalised for not releasing in a tackle and Evans kicked the penalty from a difficult angle. The visitors continued to concede penalties and in the 8thminute they conceded three more points for advancing in front of the kicker.
Gowerton now enjoyed their best spell of pressure with flanker Rhys Cherry, No.8 Morgan Morris and hooker Marcus Besley all carrying strongly and they were twice denied a score when first Cherry and then fly half Philip Jones were held up over the line with centres Lloyd Bartlett and Tom Pritchard both proving to be resilient defenders for the hosts.
Morgan Morris prepares to gather a high ball.
It was the hosts who increased their lead in the 28th minute, when Gowerton were again penalised for advancing in front of the kicker and Evans landed the penalty from 40 metres.
Rhys Cherry offloads to spark a Gowerton attack.
In the second half, Gowerton applied the early pressure with fly half Jones probing intelligently and full back Callum Macdermott running elusively and they had a chance to reduce the deficit in the 39th minute, but fly half Jones’ kick dropped just short. The hosts kicked the drop out long and when Gowerton returned the kick they were again penalised for advancing and Evans again punished them to stretch the lead to 12 points.
Phil Jones demonstrates the ‘end over end kick’.
Bryntirion’s powerful forwards were now in the ascendancy with lock Tom Evans leading from the front and carrying strongly and one surging forward drive resulted in another penalty and Evans’ easy kick stretched the lead.
Gowerton’s attacks became increasingly frenetic and when they tried to counter attack on half way, the ball was spilled and the hosts hacked on for full back Matthew Wilson to win the chase and score. Evans converted and although Gowerton pressed for a consolation score in the final quarter, Bryntirion’s defence was unflinching and at the final whistle it was they who took their position in the semi final.