Marshall's late show seals cup win for Gowerton
A LAST-GASP try from Jordan Marshall gave Gowerton Year 11 a dramatic 10-5 win away at Pentrehafod in the Welsh Schools' Cup.
The hosts have a reputation for developing talented players and, in recent years, they have produced some fine school rugby sides.
Gowerton knew that if they were to return with the spoils, they would need to be at their best.
The first half was keenly contested and, although the game was still scoreless at the break, that was more to do with the quality of both defences rather than the paucity of the attacking play.
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For Pentrehafod, flanker James Osborne was outstanding and achieved a number of turnovers in the contact area. No. 8 Jordan Williams tackled tirelessly.
Centres Ross Carter and Kyle Morgan were unflinching in defence and speedy in attack, while full-back Alex Tregembo was safe under the high ball.
For the visitors, hooker Dafydd Williams was on top in the scrums and his accurate throwing allowed lock Jack Petherbridge to dominate in the line-outs.
The back row of Sam Winrow, Scott Smith and Kieryn Lewis all impressed with their ball carrying.
Behind the scrum, centre and captain Lewis MacDermott led his team by example, but it was full-back Rhodri Tyrrell who won the man-of-the-match award for his impressive all-round kicking, tackling and counter-attacking.
It was Gowerton who eventually broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when great handling from deep set up a position deep inside the hosts 22.
Quick ball allowed scrum-half Leighton Lamb to probe for a gap, he committed the defence and fed wing James Rudderham, and his sleight of hand allowed fly-half Nathan Williams to cross in the corner.
Both teams had opportunities to claim the second score but, with defences still difficult to breach, it took a piece of individual brilliance in the 46th minute from centre Carter to bring a second score.
He chipped over the defence, regathered an awkward bouncing ball and held off would-be tacklers to score. The conversion was missed and, with four minutes left, the scores were tied and the result could go either way.
It was Gowerton who gained victory when, in the final minute, centre MacDermott made ground in midfield.
Flanker Luke Snell and prop Josh Neill took the ball up to the hosts' line and, when Pentrehafod were penalised, scrum-half Lamb tapped it quickly and his swift pass allowed wing Marshall to dive over in the corner for the winning score.