Thursday, 30 January 2014

Neath Port Talbot College 41-22 Coleg Gwent

Neath Port Talbot College notched up their third win in the WRU Wednesday Under 18 League as they saw off Coleg Gwent in a ten-try, entertaining encounter.

When the teams met back in October it was a close run affair, with NPT triumphing by just four points that day, and despite what the one-sided scoreline projects, Coleg Gwent were very much contenders for large swathes of the match.
Both sides played the match at a high tempo leading to a frantic and frenzied affair that left the game unstructured at times. However, it was the hosts that took their chances better, with wing Lloyd Pritchard showing electric pace to claim a well taken hat-trick.
The scrum was an evenly matched set piece but NPT had the edge up front and at the line-out, with locks Oliver Thompson and Adam Beard producing a physical performance around the park.
The Llandarcy outfit got off to a flying start as they raced into a 10-0 lead thanks to tries by centre Joe Thomas and Thompson after they had the better of the opening exchanges.
However, it was the visitors that would lead going into the interval as an interception converted try for centre Chad Wood and a quick thinking Sior Pearce effort edge the Gwent side ahead.
A strong run from NPT outside centre Joe Gage set the tone for the second-half and after several phases of play, fly half Dylan Francis chipped through and the ball nestled into the arms of the racing Pritchard to cross.
And the flyer was celebrating again moments later when a turnover in the centre of the park saw the ball shipped wide, and with the visitors' defence in disarray, Pritchard turned on the afterburners to go over in the corner.
Steven Llewellyn’s troops did stem the tide with a Scott Turner penalty but all too often handling errors let the visitors down in the opposition half.
When lock Adam Buttifants was sinbinned by referee Nicky Innwood, their task of getting back into the match turned from improbable to impossible.
With a man advantage, NPT kicked for the corner and from the resultant line-out the hosts drove over with hooker Luke Davies emerging from under the pile of bodies to grab a try.
Centre Gage got his reward for an industrious afternoon five minutes from time when another of his powerful runs saw him elude the last line of defence, while a mistake from Pritchard’s opposite number saw the NPT winger capitalise to bag his third.

In fairness to Coleg Gwent, they never let their heads drop and it was the visitors that had the final say of the afternoon, with their scrum-half and best player on the pitch Pearce showing strength and determination to touchdown in the final play of the game.


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