Howell bags 25 point haul as yr 9 impress en route to final.
Gowerton’s year 9 rugby team produced their best performance of the season to defeat WhitchurchHigh School from Cardiff and in the process they progressed confidently into the Welsh schools’ under 14 Cup final.
Jordon Liney looks for the room to attack.
The game was played on a neutral ground at Bridgend College and conditions there were perfect for open, running rugby. The Swanseaschool dominated in all phases to impress those watching. At forward, flanker Rhys Evans commanded the lineout, while the power of props Tom Northey and Steffan Gibbon, lock Morgan Morris and No.8 Jack Cambriani enabled them to dominate the contact area. With a supply of quality possession, man of the match fly half Philip Jones controlled the game with great maturity and centres Jordon Liney and Tom Howell and full back Keelan Giles all revelled in the space they were afforded as a result.
Whitchurch kicked off and Gowerton were in front almost immediately. Lock Ethan Harris gathered the kick and when possession reached fly half Jones, his intelligent long kick found space and when the Cardiff school attempted to clear their lines, the ball was gathered by centre Howell and he outstripped the defence to give his side a dream start he then provided the ‘icing on the cake’ when he added the difficult conversion from wide out.
Four minutes later, another long Jones kick exposed the frailties in the Cardiffschool’s defence and this time it was full back Giles who benefited to cross for his team’s second score. In the 17th minute, Gowerton confirmed their control, when good work by Giles and Jones pushed Whitchurch deep into their ’22. They secured their own lineout, but pressure from hooker Dafydd Williams led to the clearance being charged down and flanker Evans pounced to score in the corner. Howell’s excellent touchline conversion put his team 19 points clear.
Rhys Evans leaps to secure a lineout.
Rhys delivers possession to scrum half Callum Lewis.
Gowerton added two further tries in the 24th and 27thminutes. The first came when the speed of full back Giles’ footwork left defenders grasping at thin air and the second followed an intelligent counter attack started by fly half Jones and carried on by prop Gibbon he fed Howell who chipped ahead and re-gathered to score. Howell added the extras to both scores and at the break Gowerton were ahead 33-0.
Gowerton maintained their dominance in the early stages of the second half scoring tries in the 37th, 42ndand 44th minutes. The first two came when powerful centre Jordon Liney powered over from scrums close to the Cardiff school’s line and then a cross field kick by fly half Jones was gathered by Howell. Howell added one conversion to take his own personal haul to 25 points and post his team’s half century.
Keelan Giles looks for space.
The Cardiffschool now had to show their character and they did so laudably scoring three tries in the last ten minutes. Cardiff Schools’ players’ hooker Rhys Gogg grabbed the first and centre Mike Wallace scored the others, converting one of them himself. At the final whistle, it was Gowerton who deservedly progressed to the final where they will hope to repeat the feat of the schools’ 2008 team, captained by Sam Davies who are the only Swanseateam to have won the cup in its history.