CAERPHILLY YOUTH 22 15 SENGHENYDD YOUTH
Sunday May 21, Blackwood
The Caerphilly District Youth Cup Final was decided in Blackwood on Sunday May 21, as the top two from the Dragons A Youth League went head-to-head.
Senghenydd, led by captain Ryan Davies, had plans to complete the double over local rivals and last season’s league champions, Caerphilly.
The fair-sized crowd were treated to a high standard of rugby, as the quality of play wasn’t reflected in the scoreless first 20 minutes.
As the Castlemen’s forwards began to get on top, their increasing pressure delivered a penalty. Centre Cycle Powell stepped up to the tee and gave his side a 3-0 lead.
On a sun-soaked afternoon, the players were free to show off their skill levels, and off a rolling maul, the ball was passed out to Caerphilly captain Sam Haley, who broke through the Senghenydd defence to score under the posts for a converted try.
Senghenydd, who dethroned Caerphilly as league champions, began to make their mark on the game and as the Green Army retreated, they gave away a kickable penalty as Senghenydd registered their first points.
From the resulting kick-off, the Saints took possession and marched towards the Caerphilly line. The ball was passed through the backs, but outstanding defence forced a mistake, and with the ball loose, the electric pace of winger Lewys Willacott saw him collect on the bounce and outsprint the Senghenydd defenders to give Caerphilly a commanding 17-3 half-time lead.
Senghenydd exerted extensive pressure after the interval, and they reaped the rewards after a Caerphilly knock-on led to a breakaway try.
There were seven points in it at 17-10, and with time running out for Senghenydd, Caerphilly struck a devastating blow as Conor Kawulok pounced on another mistake, and the ball was recycled for Willacott to score his second of the afternoon in the corner.
A late interception try made little difference to the outcome, as Caerphilly completed a convincing 22-15 win. Captain Haley collected both the District Youth Cup and a man of the match award.
Several of the Castlemen’s players will move up to the senior ranks next season, and will look to make similar winning impressions in Division 2 East.
• Match report by Mike Haley of Caerphilly RFC.