Standing left to right: Sam Clark, Jamie Hurlow, Jordon Liney, Steffan Gibbon, Jacob Clark, Morgan Morris, Jack Cambriani, Ethan Harris, Brandon Gordon, Steffan Tyrrell.
Seated left to right: Milo Fleming, Callum Lewis, Tom Howell, Philip Jones, Will Jones, Rhys Evans, Max Harris, Jack Porter, Oliver Smith, Mr Mason (coach).
Kneeling left to right: Luke Snell, Rhys Evans, Ben Roberts, James Rudderham, Dominic Greeno, Sam Williams, Dafydd Williams, JordanMarshall, Tom Northey, Keelan Giles.
Gowerton’s year 9 emulates the class of 2008.
Gowerton’s year 9 team travelled to Parc y Scarlets for the final of the Welsh schools’ under 14s cup.
Led by captain will Jones, they were determined to emulate the achievement of the schools’ 2008 team, captained by Sam Davies, who were the first and only previous Swanseaschool team to lift the trophy.
The day began well for the team when former pupil, Wales and Ospreys fly half Daniel Biggar came into school and presented each player with his match day jersey at a pre-match breakfast.
Daniel Biggar came into school and presented Morgan Morris (above) and
Sam Williams (below) with their match day jerseys.
After the recent heavy rain, the team expected the Parc y Scarlets playing surface to be heavy underfoot. However, it was testimony to the facilities at the stadium that the ground was in perfect condition for running rugby.
At the kick off there was a tingle in the atmosphere as the Swansea school were spurred on by the vociferous support of the 800 pupils from their partner primary schools and key stage 3 classes who had made the short trip across the Llwchwr bridge.
Gowerton’s supporters were there in force.
Gowerton Primary’s pupils were fully behind their senior neighbours.
How many tries will Gowerton score? Mr Carr, Mrs Thomas and Mrs King all reckoned they’d score 10.
The supporters created an electric atmosphere as they cheered their team on.
In the first ten minutes, nerves seemed to be affecting both teams and with Gowerton conceding five unanswered penalties it was the Cardiff school who threatened first. Gowerton’s defence stood firm and with fly half Philip Jones pulling the strings effectively, they began to assert themselves and prop Steffan Gibbon, No.8 Jack Cambriani and centre Jordon Liney, were all only denied just short of the line by some excellent Glantaf defensive work.
Excellent Glantaf defence denied Jack Cambriani a score.
In the 25th minute, the pressure finally told and following a break by fly half Jones, the ball was moved to the right hand corner and although the initial thrust was denied, the ball was recycled quickly and moved left for full back Keelan Giles to stride over in the corner.
The scorer of the first try, Keelan Giles gets his pass away.
Gowerton were now well and truly in the ascendency and finished the half on the front foot, but were unable to add to their score and turned with a 5-0 lead at the break.
Glantaf got the second half underway, but it was the Swansea school who were on the front foot first and they added to their lead in the 34th minute when a break by full back Giles worked fly half Jones a position 30 metres out, his intelligent kick through turned the Cardiff school’s defence and he was first to the ball and gathered to dive over for a try converted by centre Tom Howell.
Phil Jones regathers his own kick to score the second try.
Tom Howell who kicked the conversion attempts to get away from a defender.
Glantaf were onto the scoreboard themselves in the 39th minute when Gowerton failed to control the ball from a kick ahead and were then penalised for offside. Centre Nathan Mathias slotted the kick from 20 metres.
This was only a temporary setback, and Gowerton’s victory seemed assured in the 46thminute when a scything run by full back Giles took him deep inside the Cardiff schools’ 22. When they were penalised, captain Will Jones tapped the penalty quickly and although he was halted just short of the line, the ball was recycled quickly and lock Morgan Morris was on hand to power over for a try centre Howell again converted.
Morgan Morris was on hand to score Gowerton’s third try.
Rhys Evans leaps high to win a lineout.
Glantaf were not going to go down without a fight, and with 10 minutes left on the clock, Gowerton tried to run out of defence, when they were tackled just outside their own ’22, the ball was turned over and Glantaf moved the ball swiftly for replacement full back Tom Jones to cross for a try converted by Mathias.
In the 53rd minute, Gowerton re-established their lead when good work by flanker Rhys Evans, who had a fine game in the lineout, gave centre Liney the room to cross in the corner.
Jordon Liney bursts clear to put Gowerton on the front foot.
Any thoughts of a comfortable win were quashed when Glantaf’s captain No.8 Aled Ward scored a try that centre Mathias again converted, but with time almost up on the clock, there was only enough time to kick off and when they won possession, the ball was scrambled into touch and it was Gowerton’s captain Will Jones who lifted the trophy for the Swanseaschools’ second triumph in four years.
Captain Will Jones lifts the trophy.
The team celebrates with ‘the bowling ball.’
Photographs: Alasdair Bater yr 12 and Connor Brannan yr 9.