The Eyasses fought back with an impressive second half performance to record another victory in the Regional Age Grade competition
When the Eyasses faced the Scarlets back in November arather lacklustre performance saw them crash to a 35 - 10 defeat but after a focus on performance rather than results from Head Coach Steffan James, the young Ospreys have turned their season around, going into tonight's derby having won their last two games. Despite a boost in the form of some players returning from injury, the Eyasses knew what a challenge they would face from the strong Scarlets side who had only lost once so far this season.
In a very wet and windy Llandarcy, the Eyasses got off to a determined start. Early pressure from the pack caused the Scarlets problems and with just one minute on the clock Phil Davies got the first points on the board for the home team with a successful penalty kick.
As expected the Scarlets were no easy opponents, and when Eyasses captain Ben Davies was shown a yellow card a few minutes later they took full advantage and made an easy break through the defence to get the first try of the evening. Despite the awful conditions both kickers were on top form and the conversion was secured, as well as another successful penalty for the Eyasses two minutes later thanks to Phil Jones' boot.
Some good work followed from both sides as they each defended well and made some dangerous runs, Reuben Morgan Williams and Rhys Gealy particularly bothering the visitors back line. However several infringements by the Eyasses in the latter stages of the first half allowed the Scarlets to extend their lead thanks to two successful penalty kicks.
The young Scarlets looked increasingly confident, their strong scrum allowed them to put pressure on the home side and their strong defence forced the Eyasses into several handling errors. The Eyasses however weathered the storm in more ways than one, and just before half time Keelan Giles carried on a great run to cross over in the corner. Phil Jones couldn't find his mark with the conversion to even the scores and at half time the score was:
Ospreys Under 18's 11 - 13 Scarlets Under 18's
With just seconds on the clock in the second half, Stuart Nicholas came within touching distance of the try line but the visitors regrouped their defence just in time to deny him the try. Instead it was the Scarlets who got the next chance at points as they were awarded another penalty, but with worsening conditions Mitchell Jones sent the ball wide.
The Eyasses found themselves down to 14 men again early in the second half as Jordan Liney was sent to the bin for fighting. However as they did in the first half the young Ospreys kept up the momentum and were soon able to take the lead with another penalty from Phil Jones.
The Scarlets attacking play may have diminished in the latter stages of the game but their defence held strong for the majority of the game. The Eyasses were agonisingly close to scoring another two tries but were held out at the very last second by the Scarlets and instead had to settle for another successful penalty kick from Phil Jones to extend their lead.
With just two minutes left to go in the game, a kick from the visitors saw the ball go straight out, leading to an Ospreys line out on the Scarlets 22. With some good passing and team work the ball found its way to the hands of Kieran Williams who made an outstanding break to set up James Davies to cross the line. Phil Jones, with a low slice across the posts, was unable to add the conversion.
With the remaining 90 seconds, there was just time for the Scarlets to try for a losing bonus point as the home team were penalised again. However the conditions and distance proved too much and the kick was missed meaning the game finished:
Ospreys Under 18's 22 - 13 Scarlets Under 18's