1st XV: 25 Cardiff HS: 31

1st XV denied at the last gasp.

Prop James Tanner powers forward-Rhys Cherry, Marcus Besley, Sam Winrow and Richard Keefe are all in support.
Gowerton1st XV:25
Cardiff  High 1st XV: 31.

Gowerton’s lack of discipline crucial as they bow out at the semi-final stage.

Gowerton’s 1stXV entertained Cardiff High School in the semi-final of the Welsh schools’ Vase competition.
The game was played at a sunny Gowerton RFC and with underfoot conditions excellent, things seemed set fair for an open game of running rugby. Neither team disappointed with the game living up to the billing of a semi-final with eight tries being shared equally between the two sides.
Rob James and Luke Jenkins get to grips with an opponent.
The visitors were into their stride immediately and took the lead in the 3rd minute when flanker Sam Jones-Williams crossed in the corner. Gowerton responded and when Cardiff HS were penalised for offside in the 8th minute fly half Mathew Protheroe stepped up to cut the deficit.
Cardiff HS continued to have the better of the exchanges and they stretched their lead to 18-3 at the break with centre Tom Mullins kicking penalties either side of an excellent individual try from flanker Jones-Williams that Mullins also converted.
Gowerton started the second half with renewed vigour and prop Richard Keefe and hooker Marcus Besley impressed with their dynamic work in the forward exchanges.
Hooker Marcus Besley who ‘impressed with his dynamic work’ bursts away from the cover (above) and makes a tackle on his opposite number (below).
The hosts dominate territory and they scored tries in the 36th and 45thminutes to reduce the arrears. Firstly, fullback Will Bromham was on hand to finish off an excellent move and score in the corner and then after an intelligent kick from fly half Protheroe pinned the visitors in the corner, centre Lewis Keen was on hand to recover possession and feed wing Rob James who again crossed.
The visitors stretched their lead with their third try from the kick off when No.8 Robbie Brotherton powered over and although the conversion was missed, Mullins added a penalty five minutes later that was conceded for dissent. Things got worse for the hosts minutes later when they were reduced to 14 men for the final 20 minutes when more ‘talking back’ saw a double yellow card being issued.
Trailing by 13 points, it looked as if Gowerton’s chance had gone, but half backs Jonny Lloyd and Mathew Protheroe had other ideas. Scrum half Lloyd energised his forwards with his probing running and kicking.
Scrum half Lloyd who ‘energised his forwards with his probing running and kicking’.
With twelve minutes to go Lloyd chipped over the defence on half way, re-gathered and fed centre Keen who sprinted to score in the corner. Then with five minutes left fly half Protheroe weaved through a tiring defence to score a try he converted himself.
With the hosts now only trailing by a point, they threw everything at the visitors, but when they lost possession on half way, Cardiff HS capitalised and flanker Kierin Sepaphour scored. The conversion was missed, but was followed by the final whistle and the visitors had booked their place in the final and Gowerton were left to rue their lack of discipline that had probably cost them the chance of a cup final appearance.

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