Owen Rieley and Connery Maddick listen to Mr Lewis’ pre-match message.
Gowertonyear10: 19Pontarddulais year 10:7.
Jones, Morris and Gordon score to book year 10 a St. Helensdate.
Gowerton entertained Pontarddulais in the semi-final of the Swansea schools’ cup and after a keenly contested game emerged with the victory that sees them travel to St. Helens to play Olchfa, the holders, in the final.
Jesse Howes and Steffan Tyrrell look to unlock the Pontarddulais defence.
Gowerton received the kick off on a very cold and windy day at the Elba. Pontarddulais had a big pack and what looked to be some fast backs and that combined to the fact that the hosts were a number of players missing meant the Gowerton boys knew they would be in for a difficult game.
Pontarddulais were keen to give the ball some width and play an expansive game despite the conditions and regularly made metres over the gain line through their strong running centre George Mobfana who was giving the Gowerton centres a torrid time. The Gowerton pack were doing well against the bigger Pontarddulais pack in the scrums and rucks, but a number of handling errors by the Gowerton backs seemed to be nullifying the forwards hard work. Flanker Rhys Evans was usually first to the breakdown and achieved a number of turnovers, as did hooker Luke Snell who was his usual busy self.
Steffan Gibbon used the pre-match cuddle to shelter from the wind.
Pontarddulais took the lead midway through the first half with Mobfana again giving the Gowerton defence a hard time and scoring a try he converted himself giving the visitors a deserved 7-0 lead. Gowerton were quick to reply and an excellent break from Phil Jones in the centre led to him scoring from the halway line. Fly half Jesse Howes missed the conversion which meant Pontarddulais led 7-5 at half time.
Morgan Morris, Milo Fleming and Tom Northey came on at half time, and Morris immediately made an impact with some strong ball carrying. His powerful running eventually resulted in him scoring a try, which was converted by fly half Howes. Gowerton were now the dominant team and with confidence building the backs were keen to get the ball out wide at every opportunity.
Gowerton try scorer Philip Jones prepares to take a touchline conversion.
Gowerton were trying to play at pace and scrum half Callum Lewis was constantly taking quick tap penalties and getting the ball out quickly from set plays and rucks. One such opportunity led to Brandon Gordon receiving the ball in the Pontarddulais 22, he should have put his head down and sprinted for the corner, but instead he cut back inside and was caught by a big tackle from a Pontarddulais defender! However, a couple of plays later, he was put in a similar position and this time made no mistake, scoring in the corner. The try was converted well by Phil Jones and Gowerton held on to progress to the final.
Match report: Mr. Lewis. Photographs: Keelan Giles yr 10.