Captain Tom Wedlake was back after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Amman Valley1stXV:13 Gowerton 1st XV:20.
Gowerton travelled to Amman Valley for their third Welsh Schools’ senior group match and produced easily their best performance of the season to defeat the hosts 20-13 in a very keenly contested game.
The visitors were led by captain and flanker Tom Wedlake who was returning after sustaining a shoulder injury and his presence certainly boosted the team who responded with a spirited and very committed performance.
Gowerton’s forwards attack the Amman Valley try line.
Gowerton kicked off into the strong breeze and knew that they would have to work hard in the first half to overcome the elements.
The hosts were first onto the scoreboard when they tapped a penalty quickly 30 metres out and No.8 Sion James powered over in the corner. Fly half Ceri Rees’ conversion attempt grazed the wrong side of the post.
Gowerton were next to threaten, the forwards were beginning to gain the upper hand in the contact area where prop Richard Keefe, locks Rhys Cherry and Sam Winrow, flanker Tom Bebb and No.8 Chris Ross were all prominent. In the 11thminute they drove over the hosts’ line and although they were held up, the hosts were penalised. Gowerton boldly spurned the certain 3 points and moved the ball wide for full back Ross Young to put centre Callum Macdermott over in the corner. Fly half Mathew Protheroe’s excellent conversion gave his team the lead.
Amman Valley continued to attempt to move the ball at every opportunity and they were rewarded in the 27th minute when they took a lineout quickly on half way. Scrum half Aled James caught the Gowerton defence on the hop and he sprinted 40 metres to score in the corner.
Fly half Mathew Protheroe looks to exploit a gap in the Amman Valley defence.
Gowerton had to withstand some intense pressure in the final minutes of the half and the defence of centres Macdermott and Luke Jenkins and fly half Protheroe was unflinching and enabled them to turn around with the hosts’ lead limited to 10-7.
In the second half, half backs Jonny Lloyd and Protheroe took control of the game and with man of the match, lock, Rhys Cherry a powerful ball carrier they pressed for a score. It came in the 41st minute when fine approach work by wing Rob James and flanker Wedlake allowed prop Matthew O’Flanagan to plunge over.
Amman Valley redoubled their efforts and with prop James Thomas a powerful presence in defence and attack they won a penalty 20 metres out in the 46th minute and fly half Rees’ kick regained his side the lead.
Gowerton replied in kind and the pack were only halted just short of the line at the expense of a penalty and fly half Protheroe stepped up to convert.
The final ten minutes was a tense affair, with both sides pressing for the vital score and with time almost up, the hosts dropped a pass on halfway. Replacement No.8 Sam Pridgeon kicked on and won the race to touch down for the winning score.
Lewis Keen made up for missing his Technology lesson by attempting to design a new method for extracting water from a bottle ‘dipping his finger in’.
The final whistle was greeted with a mixture of relief and elation and the team can now look forward with confidence to games against Tregib from Llandeilo and Christ College, Brecon over the next week.