Gowerton’s man of the match Liam Morgan achieves another turnover.
Bl 10 Olchfa: 19 Bl 10 Tregwyr:29.
Olchfa yr 10: 19 Gowerton yr 10: 29.
The year 10 team continued their confident start to the year when they travelled to play neighbours Olchfa. The side was without a number of regulars who were rested before playing for Swansea Schools on the following evening whilst several other players were unavailable as they were having a statistics lesson after school. As a result the squad realised they faced a tough challenge, but in the run up to the game coach Mr. Lewis had sensed a ‘steely determination’ amongst the players.
Gornest yr ail hanner yn caniatau Tregwyr i orchfygu’r cymdogion.
Second half fight back allows Gowerton to overcome neighbours.
Wing Rhodri Tyrrell hands off an Olchfa opponent.
The recent fine, warm weather had given way to drizzle which was likely to make handling difficult. However, it was clear in the early exchanges that both teams were keen to play an expansive game and in the first five minutes both teams had crossed for a try. In the 3rd minute, Olchfa scored a try, when they attacked the blindside of a maul and scored in the corner. Three minutes later, Gowerton responded with a try of their own from a scrum 30 metres out, centre Anthony Osborne drove into the heart of the home defence fellow centre Ashley Watkins took the ball to within a metre of Olchfa’s try line and when he was halted full back Matthew Williams was on hand to gather and cross for a try that he converted excellently from wide out.
Leighton Lamb drives forwards despite the close attention of two Olchfa tacklers.
The conversion had put Gowerton in front and they increased the lead in the 12thminute with a fine team try. A thumping tackle by centre Anthony Osborne won possession just outside his own ’22. Flanker Liam Morgan charged into the hosts’ half. When he was halted, wing Rhodri Tyrrell was in support, he passed to centre Osborne whose excellent angle of running committed the defence, full back Williams was in support and this time it was centre Watkins who was on hand to cross for the try.
Olchfa continued to compete aggressively, particularly at forward and they were level in the 19th minute when they again attacked around the fringe of a ruck, Gowerton’s poor defensive body positions allowed the hosts to cross for a similar try to their first. Whilst Olchfa were having the advantage in the forward exchanges, Gowerton’s backs continued to carry a threat every time they had possession. Scrum half Nathan Williams’ distribution was excellent and he had his best game in a school shirt, whilst fly half Tom Froom had some neat touches and in the 23rd minute, good work from the half backs allowed the impressive Liam Morgan, who won the man of the match award for his non-stop work rate, dynamic running and unflinching defence to cross for an unconverted try that re-established their lead.
Poor body positions on the fringe of the rucks allowed Olchfa to score 3 tries.
However, on the stroke of half time, Gowerton’s defensive frailties on the periphery of the rucks allowed the hosts to cross for a third try which they converted to give them a 19-17 lead at the break.
At half time, captain Richard Keefe realised that victory was well within their grasp if they could improve their defensive effort around the edges of the loose plays. The team rose to his challenge and denied the hosts another score in the half and crossed for two tries of their own. The first came in the 34thminute when Ashley Watkins, who had moved to flanker, claimed a lineout 35 metres out a cross kick was gathered by wing Tyrrell and he powered over for a try that full back Williams again converted impressively. Then in the 47thminute, great defensive work by lock Liam Brook secured possession 10 metres from Olchfa’s line, fly half Froom’s half break created the space for Watkins to cross in the corner. William’s conversion attempt hit the post, but it mattered little and Gowerton deservedly returned home with victory.