Elusive first win evades Gower College Swansea

Inability to close down a game saw them defeated by a strong Llandovery College side.


Gower College Swansea went down to their third successive defeat of the 2013/14 WRU Wednesday Under 18 League when Llandovery College staged a late comeback and went on to win 25 - 16.

Llandovery College started off strongly, they had the best of the first passage of play and were rewarded with a try after ten minutes. A strong wind meant it went unconverted and Llandovery led 5 - 0.

However a determined Gower side were straight back on the offensive and when Llandovery were penalised following their efforts to stop the visitors, Gower College's Matthew Aubrey brought them back within 2 points with his successful penalty kick.

Strong runs by GCS captain Jon Fox saw them again start to attack the strong Llandovery College defence but good scrums from the home team soon saw them back in charge. They were rewarded a few minutes later when Gower College were penalised for offside while attempting the thwart their charge for the line. James Davies put them further ahead with the resulting kick and made it Llandovery College 8 - 6 Gower College Swansea.

Further offensive moves by Gower tested the Llandovery back line, particularly a run from Matthew Dodd which saw the visitors make huge progress into the Llandovery half. However the Llandovery College defence stayed strong and Gower had to settle for another successful penalty kick by Matthew Aubrey when the home side were also found offside.

Gower College had the best of the last passage of play in the first half. They consistently pushed the Llandovery side and forced them into making mistakes and being penalised. James Taylor from Gower picked up a bad Llandovery pass to take them just short of the try line. A bad ball out from the Gower College scrum meant they really had to work hard to stay in control but they persevered and were rewarded when they finally found a gap in the Llandovery defence and were able to slot over for their first try of the game.

Despite a missed conversion Gower College went into half time leading 11 points to 8.

The second half started much as the first had finished, with Gower College dominating proceedings. A great kick for touch by Matthew Aubrey following a penalisation for Llandovery saw them with a line out of the 22. It was well taken and the Gower pack drove for the line with Jon Fox able to drop down to score as they pushed their way over the try line.

The difficult conversion was again missed by Matthew Aubrey but Gower College were still ahead by 8 points just four minutes into the second half.

Llandovery were still determined though and straight from the restart a stunning run from their scrum half Harry Randall saw him waltz through most of the Gower defence before finally being caught just shy of the try line.

Further offensive moves by Llandovery put Gower College under pressure and this was added to minutes later when Gower's Luke Jenkins was yellow carded. Despite this the noisy and intimidating Gower defence held strong even with Llandovery having the opportunity to attack just feet from the try line.

Things looked even better for Gower shortly after when a great pass from Jon Fox saw replacement James Lewis fly down the wing. However he was bundled into touch just before he was able to score. James Lewis further helped his side straight after as he made a try saving tackle to stop a run from the resulting line out.

However the home side were not giving up and massive runs from Adam Turner and Harry Randall saw them easily make it through holes in the Gower College defence to score. They too missed their conversion and Gower College stayed 3 points clear leading 16-13.

Gower College’s problems with holding down a game to finish with the win came further apparent just minutes later when another run by scrum half Harry Randall saw Gower College miss him with several tackles and allow him to slip over the line to put Llandovery back ahead for the first time in the second half.

Despite another good combination run from the determined Jon Fox and James Lewis duo it was Llandovery who were again able to make it through the opposition defence. Alasdair Mackinnon slotted through with just 2 minutes left on the clock and the successful conversion added to the disappointment felt by the visiting side.

Neither side could manage to use the remaining time on the clock to their advantage and despite offensive moves by both sides the game ended Llandovery College 25 - 16 Gower College Swansea.

Dan Cluroe, Gower College Head Coach said on his teams third defeat of the season:

"It's very frustrating for the boys as well as us, there were some excellent performances but we showed some naivety in understanding how to finish off and win a game of rugby. I don't think we have reflected ourselves well in terms of our performances but I believe we are only a week or two away from that first win".

The other Ospreylian Colleges had a more successful afternoon in the WRU Wednesday league. Despite playing into the wind in both halves Bridgend College beat Llandrilo 13-10 in a very tight game thanks to the boot of Rhodri Davies and an Edd Howley try. NPTC also secured a win by beating Coleg Gwent 19-15. Neath Port Talbot College led from the first minute thanks to a try by Joe Gage. Gwent tried hard to come back but Neath never have up their lead and took the win.