Wednesday 4th May 2016 at Cardiff Arms Park
Pembrokeshire Youth 27 : 17 Bridgend Youth
Report by Emma Summons Western Telegraph report here
Tries: Lewys Gibby 3, Jack Parkinson 1
Conversions: Jake Jenkins 2
Penalties Jake Jenkins 1
Wednesday evening saw Pembrokeshire District Youth take on Bridgend County Youth at Cardiff Arms Park in the Wynne Lloyd Memorial Youth Cup Final. Pembrokeshire progressed through the pool stages as Best runner up after narrowly losing by a point to a strong West Carmarthenshire side, who topped the pool. The Semi Final draw saw a re match of this fixture at Carmarthen Athletic ground where Pembrokeshire ensured they didn’t make the same mistakes twice and a convincing 24-11 win saw them advance in to the cup final. This was the third consecutive year that Pembrokeshire had reached the final but unfortunately come out second best on both previous occasions to strong Caerphilly teams.
In a high tempo game on the 3G pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, both teams started anxiously. Pembrokeshire soon got into their stride with a solid scrum out wide on the half way line providing a good platform for No8 Kyle Williams to pick and go blind. He fed scrum half Lewys Gibby who raced past the winger and collected a clever kick chase to beat the cover defence and score out wide. The extras were added by an excellent touch line conversion by Jake Jenkins.
After a series of phases by the Pembrokeshire attack with forwards carrying well and linking with the back line to create good yards, several infringements by the defending team saw Jake Jenkins make no mistake from a penalty in front of the posts to increase the lead to 10 points.
The Pembrokeshire back line looked sharp in attack, with the pack working overtime at the break down to ensure they had quality ball to work with. A superb turn over in midfield caught Bridgend out as Ryan Bean and Kyle Williams made good ground before finding Gibby running a great support line to outpace the fullback and give Pembrokeshire a 15-0 lead at the break.
Bridgend had the run of play at the start of the second half enjoying a period of pressure in the Pembrokeshire 22 , several pick and drives by the forwards saw them cross the white wash to get a score on the board. With the bit between their teeth Bridgend came back at Pembrokeshire again, despite some resilient defending, there was nothing the Pembrokeshire pack could do to stop a strong, well-controlled driving maul from the Bridgend line out which saw them cross for another 5 points with the board reading 15-10.
Pembrokeshire reacted well and both sides put together some good phases of rugby but minor errors at crucial times restricted either side from increasing their score. A counter attack break down the left wing by Bridgend looked like a score was inevitable but centre Jack Parkinson covered the ground well and made an impressive, well-timed try saving tackle to keep Pembrokeshire ahead. This boosted the Pembrokeshire side and shortly after a period of possession and well recycled ball from the ever present pack saw Captain Gibby cross for his hat-trick, again after using his pace to race past the cover defence with Jake Jenkins adding the extras.
With 10 minutes remaining, Pembrokeshire were down to 14 men when flanker Harry Owen found himself in the sin-bin. Pembrokeshire soaked up the pressure from the Bridgend attack with some great defensive work around the fringes of the rucks but an attacking scrum on the 5m line gave Bridgend a good base and a good attacking line by the Bridgend centre saw him crash over under the posts for a converted try leaving a tense finale with the score at 22-17 with 5 minutes remaining.
A good territorial kick by influential outside half Jenkins to clear Pembrokeshire lines pinned Bridgend back in their own 22. Good line speed by the outside backs forced an error from the Bridgend back line and the loose ball was collected by Parkinson who shrugged of a tackle to finish under the posts in style for the last play of the game.
It was an outstanding performance by the whole Pembrokeshire squad who have done the County and their respective clubs proud. Credit to Bridgend County who also played some great rugby in what was a fantastic showcase of youth rugby in Wales.
Squad: Lewys Gibby ©, Jake Jenkins, Tom Kinnear, Danny Wainwright, Jack Parkinson, Luke Hartland, Jordan Roberts, Lloyd Davies, Jordan Frank, Aaron Mayne, Leigh Thomas, Ryan Bean, Alex Thomas, Ryan Jeremias, Kyle Williams, Kyle Hamer, Gethin Benjamin, Ryan Palmer, Morgan Layton, Harry Owen, Rhys Cadogan, Josh Hewins.
Photos by Allana Jones: If you want an uncompressed copy, please email with the photo number