Despite coming back from a 19 point deficit, the Ospreys East Under 16's side were unable to claim a victory in their final game of the season
As the teams got underway at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field last night, it was the Dragons that got off to the better start. With just a few minutes played the pressure from the Dragons proved too much for the young Ospreys defence and they charged over for the first converted try of the night.
After a few failed attempts by both sides to break through the others defence, it was again the visitors that made it work. A determined run by the Dragons saw them dodge through several Ospreys players and with a couple of good passes they again crossed the try line. With the kick going wildly awry, their second try remained unconverted.
Just a minute later the Dragons showed off their impressive pace to bag their third try of the game. They intercepted a long pass by the Eyasses and ran the whole length of the pitch to score. With a much better kick the conversion was successful and with 17 minutes played the Dragons led 19 - 0.
Shortly after it looked like the Dragons were set for their fourth try as they stole the Ospreys line out and raced half the length of the pitch. This time however the Ospreys defence held up and managed to wrestle them into touch before they could score.
Despite the deficit the Eastern Ospreys were not giving up and as they entered the second quarter their attacking and defensive play started to work. They pushed the Dragons attacks backwards and put pressure on with their offensive moves despite some crunching tackles by the visitors.
The Ospreys took their chance and were almost at the try line with a long kick but an unlucky bounce sent it into touch. When the resulting Dragons line out went long, the home team picked it up well and took advantage. Prop Rhys Henry powered forward bringing half of the Dragons pack with him and eventually the Ospreys crossed the line, however the referee decreed the ball had been held up. Their attempt from the 5m scrum was more successful and with 26 minutes gone Charlie Davies got the Ospreys East Under 16's first try of the game. Stuart Floyd Ellis successfully kicking the conversion.
The Dragons were strong from the restart. Yet again a stolen Ospreys line out provided them with a chance to make ground and just three minutes after the Ospreys try the Dragons slipped through an easy gap to score their fourth. With the try converted with a good kick, the visitors stretched their lead.
It was the young Ospreys who got the final say of the first half however. Garin Lougher starting a powerful attack with a great break. The Dragons then found themselves down to 14 men as they received a yellow card. When the Ospreys got a chance to attack close to the line they were almost unstoppable and they powered over the line with Rhys Henry grounding the ball. The conversion was out of range for Stuart Floyd Ellis and at half time the score was:
Ospreys East Under 16's 12 - 26 Dragons Under 16's
The Dragons started the second half in much the same way that they had the first with a powerful assault on the Ospreys defence. However the home side looked like an entirely different team to the one in the first part of the match. A turn over allowed them control of the ball and with just 1 minute of the second half played Garin Lougher raced over the line. Stuart Floyd Ellis adding another two points with his conversion.
From the restart the Ospreys took the game right back at the visitors. Pushing the Dragons backwards when they had the ball, and making ground when it was them in control. The young Eyasses made their way towards the try line and continuously forced the Dragons to be penalised when they attempted to stop them. 12 minutes into the second half this pressure was rewarded with replacement Luke Bevan taking his chance to score and bring the home team back within two points. Unfortunately Stuart Floyd Ellis couldn't bring them level, as his penalty kick went wide.
Over the next quarter of an hour both teams tested each other's back lines but neither had the opportunity to make the final move to make it count. Throughout the period though the Dragons grew in strength and after several chances they eventually made it across the line for their fifth try of the game. The successful conversion putting them 9 points ahead with less than 10 minutes to play.
More opportunities came for the Dragons to put pressure on the home side but despite their blistering pace on times, the Eyasses stayed strong. When another Dragons line out went too long, the Ospreys were ready for it. With the final play of the game Garin Lougher again raced down the wing and Luke Bevan added some extra yards when he received the ball. Lougher soon had the ball back in hand though, leaping and dodging throughthe Dragons defence to score his second. Jamie Sturgess, taking over kicking duties, was unable to make the conversion and as the ball went wide the final whistle blew.
Full Time: Ospreys East Under 16's 29 - 33 Dragons Under 16's