After their impressive 33-3 win over Whitchurch High School last week, Neath Port Talbot College looked to continue their winning run at home against Newport High School.
- A late comeback from a spirited NPTC side wasn’t enough for a place in the Trophy final
- Tries from Sam Evans, Kyle Jones and Garin Lloyd brought the home side back into contention after a 14-0 score to climb during the first half
There was a change of venue after a frozen pitch at the Gnoll, NPTC hosting Newport High School at Llandarcy.
Both sides went into the game knowing they could still qualify for the Colleges trophy final with a win.
Newport High’s first try came with their first touch of the ball after a solid scrum. Good offloading, followed by a chip through that was caught by wing James McCarthy, who raced up field for the visitors first try. Fullback Reagon Mahoney added the extras gave Newport High a 7-0 lead with 10 minutes played.
Only five minutes later, a NPTC scrum in their own 22 was met with fierce attack from the Newport defence. Fly-half Lewis Hopkins ripped the ball out of NPTC’s winger’s hands to fly over the line for Newport’s second try. Mahoney converting extended their lead to 14-0 with quarter of an hour played.
NPTC weren’t ready to throw in the towel yet.
Powerful attacking from the restart by NPTC forced a penalty against Newport for an offside. A great touch finder put the hosts deep in Newport’s 22, hooker Garin Lloyd finding his man at the lineout followed by a huge effort from the pack in a driving maul edged the boys closer to the try line. A quick offload went loose but taking advantage of a quick tap and go, scrum half Dalton Brown gave NPTC their first try of the afternoon.
The try unconverted, the scores were 5-24 with 20 minutes played.
Newport High weren’t long in responding, a scrum on NPTC’s 10m line nicely picked up by scrum-half Dan Babos, who took the ball over the whitewash for the visitor’s third of the game. Mahoney extended his side’s lead to 5-21 at the half hour mark.
NPTC were denied another shot at scoring as the first half drew to a close. A good break by centre Ben Atkins came to nothing as the Newport defence hauled NPTC into touch and it was the visitors who capitalised on their efforts, running the ball up field and securing a penalty for not releasing and opting to take a kick at posts. Mahoney sent the ball through to add the three.
HALF TIME – NEATH PORT TALBOT COLLEGE 5 – 24 NEWPORT HIGH SCHOOL
With a slow start to the second half, both sides were unable to turn their possession into points.
But a series of penalties against Newport High was met by quick thinking from NPTC who took them quick gaining more territory, pushing Newport back into their own half. Powering their way through phases and carrying the ball well, an offload to wing Dewi Cross sent him over for a superb try only for the referee to disallow it due to a forward pass.
With a scrum to Newport after NPTC’s forward pass, scrum-half Babos spotted a break in the line and raced up field looking to score, a quick offload to his wing looked to give Newport their fourth, but a try saving tackle from NPTC denied them anything for their efforts.
With the penalty count already against Newport the referee’s patience finally gave up, sending Luc Slocombe to the sin bin for holding on. NPTC took advantage of the one-man advantage sending the ball up field and running it deep into their oppositions 22. Great attack play from the hosts, with an offload to Kyle Jones, sent the wing over the line. Unconverted the scores were 10-24 with 50 minutes on the clock.
And it wasn’t long before the comeback was well and truly on. A solid scrum by NPTC on Newport’s 22 and powerful carries by the forwards sent Garin Lloyd over under the posts. Fly-half Luke Scully putting the scores 17-24 with five minutes left to play.
Looking to attack at the restart, Newport High pushed the NPTC defence back into their own half, forcing handling errors from a scrambled NPTC defence. That put Newport back in possession and spotting a break in the line, wing Rio Dyer sailed through for the visitors fourth try.
Mahoney kicked the two to put his side more than a converted try ahead at 17-31, enying NPTC a win and a place in next week’s final, with the referee blowing up for full time.