Bishopston year 8: 10 Gowerton year 8: 15
Gowerton’s year 8 team travelled to Bryntawe in the semi final of the Swanseaschools’ cup and eventually triumphed 15-10 but only following a tense struggle that saw both teams having opportunities to win before Gowerton scored the clinching try with 5 minutes to go.
Gowerton kicked off playing against the slope and wind, but they settled quickly with half backs Iwan Jones and Cameron Clayfield distributing well and as a result centres James Northey and Danny Thomas and wings Jack Cosker and Tom Barrington all looked dangerous with ball in hand.
The visitors took the lead in the 5th minute when an intelligent kick by fly half Clayfield found space behind Bryntawe’s defence. Centre Northey was on hand to win possession and he fed Clayfield who sprinted 20 metres to open the scoring.
Gowerton doubled their lead in the 13th minute when strong runs from No.8 Lewis Pennington and man of the match Barrington established a position deep in the hosts’ 22 and No.8 Garin Thomas picked up from the ensuing ruck and powered over to score his team’s second try.
The hosts looked increasingly dangerous with ball in hand and fly half Iwan Beggs and centre Taylor Evans both ran strongly whilst full back Lauren Smith, the cousin of Walesfull back and former Gowerton pupil Liam Williams impressed with her elusive running and strong defence. Bryntawe gradually grew in confidence and deservedly reduced the deficit on the stroke of half time when flanker Rhys Morgan sprinted over from 20 metres and Gowerton’s lead was 10-5 at the break.
The game was now very much in the balance and both teams pushed for the next score. It looked like it would go to the visitors, but when hooker Gareth Aylott was tackled just short, good work by Bryntawe lock Joseph Davies turned the ball over and the hosts counter attacked with a length of the field move which saw wings Josh Carrington and Luke Butler both running well before centre Evans finished off from 40 metres. The conversion dropped short and the teams were tied going into the last quarter.
It was the intelligent kicking game of Gowerton’s half backs Jones and Clayfield that tipped the game their way and with 5 minutes left, Jones kicked to the corner, reclaimed possession and fed wing Cosker who crossed for the crucial try.
The hosts pressed for another score in the final minutes, but excellent defensive work from No.8 Pennington and flanker Morgan Grey kept their line intact and at the final whistle it was Gowerton who progressed to next Wednesday’s final when they will play either Bishopston or Morriston at St. Helens. Kick off 5.00pm.
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