1st XV v Dyffryn Teifi

1st XV surge into the last 4.

“Hey Shane, how many tries did Mathew Protheroe score?”
XV1af Tregwyr: 30 XV 1af Dyffryn Teifi: 15
Gowerton1st XV: 30 Dyffryn Teifi 1st XV: 15
Tri chais Protheroe yn arwain XV1af i rownd gyn-derfynnol Welsh Vase.
Protheroe hat-trick steers Gowerton 1stXV into the Welsh Vase semi-final.
Gowerton 1st XV entertained Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi in the quarter finals of the Welsh Schools’ Vase competition.
Gowerton kicked off and were immediately onto the front foot with their forwards the more tenacious at the breakdown where front row forwards Marcus Besley and Richard Keefe were particularly effective. However, it was the visitors who took the lead in the 5th minute when fly half Guto Jones intercepted a pass inside his own ‘22’ and raced 80 metres to score a try he converted himself.
Fly half Mathew Protheroe ran a good angle to cross for his team’s first try.
The hosts were undaunted by this set back and continued to press with half backs Jonny Lloyd and Mathew Protheroe controlling the game impressively. Lloyd’s service was excellent in the difficult cross
wind and allowed his fly half partner to probe for defensive weaknesses. In the 12th minute Gowerton were level when Protheroe ran a good angle that allowed him to wrong foot the defence and cross for a try he converted himself.
Then in the 17th minute Gowerton took the lead when good approach work from centres Callum Macdermott and Luke Jenkins gave wing Niall Richards an opportunity and although he still had work to do, he showed great strength to ground the ball despite the efforts of several defenders.
Niall Richards had work to do but showed great strength to score.
Dyffryn Teifi had taken time to settle, but they dominated the next quarter with their forwards picking and driving effectively around the fringes of the breakdown. Prop Dyfan Evans and hooker Aled Jones both carried strongly and Gowerton were only able to repel their efforts due to the great defensive work of No.8 Rhys Cherry, flanker Shane Harris and lock Jack Solomon. It seemed inevitable that the visitors’ pressure would lead to a score and it duly arrived and they deservedly levelled on the stroke of half time when flanker Alun Rennolf powered over for a try.
The early part of the second half was evenly matched. Gowerton took the lead in the 38th minute with a penalty from full back Daniel Burgoyne. Four minutes later, the visitors were level again with a well taken drop goal from 30 metres by fly half Jones only for Gowerton to retake the lead in the 44th minute with a second Burgoyne penalty.
Dyffryn Teifi pressed for the next score and Gowerton were pinned in their half for the next quarter of an hour. The hosts’ defence was severely tested with flanker Tom Bebb and lock Sam Winrow both to the fore. In fact, Winrow’s domination of the line outs and fearless work on the ground and in defence was a key factor in keeping the visitors’ out and deservedly earned him the man of the match award.
Richard Keefe and Rhys Cherry double up to make a tackle.
With five minutes to go the match was delicately poised and was decided by two pieces of individual brilliance from fly half Protheroe. First, a turnover by flanker Bebb won possession and allowed Protheroe to set off on a mazy run that saw him beating several defenders to cross for his second try. Then from a scrum 30 metres out Protheroe sliced through the defence for a try that he converted himself. The final whistle followed and the game had been much more closely contested than the final score indicated.
Gowerton are home in the semi-final to the winners of the Cardiff High Schooland Olchfa tie.
Photographs: Tom Wedlake (yr 13).

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