Welsh Cup: 1st XV v Ystalyfera and yr 10, 8 and 7 v Gwyr

Gowerton 1st XV power into the quarter final of the Welsh Cup.

Gowerton School 1st XV: 18 Ystalyfera: 8
Gowerton School 1st XV entertained Ystalyfera in the 2nd round of the Welsh schools’ cup and it was the hosts who progressed into the next round.
Gowerton’s win was founded on their excellent defensive work where prop Richard Keefe, lock Billy Howes, flanker Luke Snell, centres Steffan Tyrrell and Shane Harris and wing Lewis Macdermott were all uncompromising.
Gowerton kicked off, but it was the visitors who dominated both territory and possession in the early stages with No. 8 and captain Jack Owen leading by example and fly half Jed O’Reilly orchestrating play well. The hosts’ had to defend for the first 25 minutes, but their defence was unflinching and it wasn’t until the 26th minute that Ystalyfera opened the scoring when No.8 Owen took a penalty quickly and brushed off several tacklers to power over for a try.
The hosts got their first score immediately, when Ystalyfera were offside at the kick off and full back Callum Macdermott stepped forward to convert the kick. At half time the visitors led 5-3.
The visitors increased their lead in the 40thminute when fly half O’Reilly kicked a penalty from 25 metres, but it was the hosts that then took control of the game with man of the match, hooker Rhys Cherry and No.8 and captain Joel Young both outstanding at the breakdown while half backs Rob James and Philip Jones controlled territory with great maturity.
In the 46th minute Gowerton spurned a kickable penalty and went for an attacking lineout and the decision bore fruit when although their initial thrust was halted, the visitors were penalised and hooker Cherry reacted quickly to tap and power through several would be tacklers for a try that Jones converted to edge his side ahead.
The result was now very much in the balance and it was home fly half Jones who took control of the game kicking intelligently to gain his side field position and making several incisive breaks. With three minutes left on the watch it was a break from Jones from inside his own half that took him to the visitors’ 22 the ball was recycled quickly and it was moved wide where prop Steffan Gibbon showed a good turn of pace to outstrip the defence and score in the corner.
From the kick off, great work by fly half Jones and centres Harris and Tyrrell allowed the hosts to break out of defence, the visitors were penalised at the breakdown and Jones fittingly stepped forward to kick the 3 points. The final whistle followed and it was Gowerton who will look forward to the draw for the next round.
Gowerton’s junior teams have also been involved in fixtures with neighbours Gwyr and emerged with honours even with both sides recording two victories.
Gwyr year 10: 40    Gowerton year 10: 7
The most impressive performance in the four games came from Gwyr’s year 10 team who crossed for 6 tries with speedy centre Dafydd Moscrop crossing four times. Gowerton found it difficult to cope with the pace of Gwyr’s outside backs and wings Ryan McEwan and Callum Davies both crossed. Centre Moscrop added five conversions to finish with an impressive personal haul of 30 points.  

Gwyr were also well served by flanker Tom Davies, hooker and captain Iwan Phillips and centre Tenzin Perkins who was a big physical presence in midfield.

Gowerton had started well with some excellent phase play with props Lewis Cooke and Morgan Evans and lock Joe Morris all running hard and retaining possession well. No.8 Will Griffiths, as always, led from the front and he was well supported by Lukas Kelly and Jamie Jones in the back row.
Gowerton played with character and resilience and never looked out of the game, the constructive and accurate passing from fly half Jordan Penhalagan allowed centre Said Mohammed to cut nice angles and he was a threat as a strong runner with the ball in his hands. Centre Josh O’Connor ran hard and tackled strongly and helped ensure the midfield line was not easily breached. 
Despite being on the back foot Gowerton continued to build phases and their try was a result of the combined work of their forwards and was well taken by abrasive hooker Ben Brown.
At the final whistle, it was the pace of Gwyr’s outside backs that had seen their side deservedly earn a comfortable win. 
Gwyr year 8: 22    Gowerton year 8: 14
The year 8 game was a great advert for schools’ rugby with both teams looking to keep the ball in hand at every opportunity and the skill level on show impressed all watching. For Gowerton, there were good performances from lock Ellis Searle and wing Jamie Skipper.
Gwyr opened the scoring with a converted try. Gowerton replied when scrum half Jacob Williams sliced through the defence to score an unconverted try. Gwyr stretched their lead with another converted try but before half time Gowerton cut the deficit to two points when strong running from lock Garin Thomas saw him power over for a try that fly half Cameron Clayfield converted.
Gowerton crossed twice in the second half with replacements; lock Ben Grunhut and scrum half Iwan Jones scoring tries that gave the visitors a narrow victory.
Gwyr year 7:  5 Gowerton year 7: 15
Gowerton and Gwyr played two games at year 7 level. In the first game the visitors crossed three times with scrum half Jac Simons, prop Mabon Kaniewski and centre Jack Petherbridge all scoring whilst wing Kori Barton, flanker Josh Thomas and lock James Ridgway all played well.
For the hosts, wing Steven Jenkins and flanker Iwan Lewis impressed and wing Kaiden Wheeler crossed for a try.
Gwyr year 7:  19 Gowerton year 7: 5
Gwyr turned the tables in the second game crossing for three tries from centre Josh Bowen, prop Nathaniel Webb and wing Joe Lloyd. Centre Luke Williams added two conversions. Gowerton’s best player fly half Charlie Smith scored their try and lock Ryan Owen also played well.

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