07 January 2018 / Club News

Nant Conwy Youth 19 Bridgend Athletic Youth 34 Welsh Youth Cup 3rd Round – Jan 6th 2018

Ospreys league leaders Bridgend Athletic Youth unbeaten with 5 league bonus point victories travelled to North Wales to meet unbeaten Nant Conwy with 7 bonus point victories in their league. In a cracking 3rd Round Welsh Youth Cup Tie it was the Athletic that prevailed outscoring the home side by 6 tries to 3 in a 34-19 victory.


The home side started confidently dominating the early exchanges and were rewarded when their scrum half dummied and sniped over from a ruck 10 metres out for a converted try. The Athletic grew into the game shaking off the tiredness of the long bus journey, but found the defensive speed of the home sides defence difficult to penetrate. Prop Chris Crumpton made several line breaks and was responsible for releasing No 8 Will Barraclough with a well-rehearsed line out move. Barraclough fended off several tackles before releasing flanker Tom Davies to cross near the posts. Matthew Hobby converted to level the scores.


Both sides defences nullified each other before centre Dan O’Sullivan swooped on a loose ball to run in from 30 metres out. Nant Conwy hit back when a series of Athletic handling errors led to counter attacks resulting in their lock forcing his way over the whitewash for a converted try. With the match finely balanced both sets of supporters and coaches were on edge. The Athletic apprehension was lifted when following good forward driving play Athletic scrum half Matthew Hobby released the backs. Slick handling between Morgan Roberts, O’Sullivan and Caine Woolerton released flying wing Sam Palmer who raced over for a fantastic corner try to give the Athletic a narrow 17-14 half time lead.


The half time team talk centred on the Athletic striking early after the restart.  They duly responded with great hard yard carries from Morgan Clemett, Rhys Durlucia and captain Joe Grabham producing quality ball for the potent backs. Full back Harry Ridge having an excellent game broke clear and looked likely to score, but chose to throw a magnificent long pass to wing Sam Palmer who obliged with his second try of the match. Hobby converted to put the Athletic 24-14 ahead. The relaxed Athletic were now playing some of their best rugby of the season. Good team play saw Barraclough release O’Sullivan for his second try of the game. The sixth and final Athletic try even drew applause from the home supporters. From a position well inside their own half backs and forwards inter passed before centre Caine Woolerton finished off a breath-taking move.


With the game won the Athletic were able to blood a few more first year youth youngsters with Jack Obbard, Dannie Osigarie and Josh Tidy joining the action. Nant Conwy showed they still presented a danger with ball in hand and their wing crossed wide out for the final try of a thoroughly entertaining and hard-fought cup tie.


Athletic Head Coach Lee Grabham commented “After a shaky start the front 5 worked hard while the back row of Joe Grabham, Will Barraclough and Tom Davies were superb all game. The back line looked extremely dangerous on time While there is still room for improvement it was a magnificent effort from all the players after a long tiring journey. The quarter final on 17th February doesn’t get any easier with a long visit west to Scarlets Region and Pembrokeshire side Crymach who have won all their

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