Llandovery College 0 Crawshay’s Welsh U18s 14
The famous invitation side made light of the bog like conditions on Tredegar Close to score two converted tries and register their first win against the College since 2010, writes Huw S Thomas.
A try in each half was enough in a game far more closely contested than the score line suggests, the clincher coming in the very last movement of the day.
Crawshay’s had gone down narrowly to Monmouth Schools and Christ College but team manager Mike Whitson strengthened his side considerably in the light of Llandovery’s good season.
All 30 players set out to play the fast and open game that their traditions demanded but Llandovery dominated the first quarter both in possession and territory.
The Lilywhites hardly missed the influence of skipper and hooker Dafydd Hughes and scrum half Harri Randall in the early exchanges and did most of the attacking.
Hooker Dan James, prop Josh Crawford and the back row of Alex Grey, Kieran Mudd and Noah Callaghan were prominent in the loose and centres Ben Phillips and Adam Turner probed hard but the Crawshay’s tackling was all embracing.
Skipper and hooker Ifan Phillips (Ysgol Preseli) – son of former Neath and Wales hooker Kevin Phillips – led from the front and there was some terrific work from the back row of Jacob Lewis (Christ College), Artie Williams (Ysgol Plasmawr) and Will Adams.
Lewis – son of ex-Wales back row Emyr Lewis - and Williams – son of ex Wales flanker Owain Williams - worked non-stop in the covering defence but Builth product Adams, now studying A levels at the College was particularly outstanding against his own schoolmates.
A moment of real magic gave Crawshay’s the lead when Monmouth School full back Rory Hammond gathered a loose kick on half way and skimmed over the mud to beat four men on his way to a sensational solo try.
Centre Callum Jones (Filton College) converted and with the confidence that comes from an against the run of play score, Crawshay’s got parity of possession.
Locks Alun Thomas (Tregib CS) and Jonny Charmley (Ellesmere College) showed up well in tight and loose as did the solid front row of Josh James (St John’s RC, Aberdare), the rugged Phillips and Jordan Southway (Monmouth School).