Wales Schools fell just short of getting the better of England Under 16s at Neath in their only capped international of the season with a 22-24 defeat.
The teams, who both competed at the Wellington International Festival over Easter, produced an entertaining game in front of a 2,000 strong Gnoll crowd who came to see the stars of the future from both countries.
They were not disappointed with Wales scrum half Harry Randall (Llandovery College) looking razor sharp and England wing Gabriel Ibitoye (Trinity School) a real powerhouse of a wing.
Altrincham GS fly half Ali Crossdale and opposite number Phil Jones (Gowerton CS) swapped penalties before Wales went ahead when right wing Keelan Giles - another Gowertonian - appeared on the left to slice through wide out.
Randall's quickly taken tap penalties had England at sixes and sevens and paved the way for a converted try from wing Patric Lewis (Lewis Boys) only for Isiekwe to crash over from a tap penalty of his own.
Crossdale brought the scores level with a weaving run down the right and then kicked a fine conversion for a 17-15 half time lead.
An injury to Welsh replacement Joe Thomas (Blackwood CS) caused a long delay but England went further ahead when Ibitoye picked up a loose ball to power home, Crossdale converting.
Wales found new reserves of energy with yet another Gowertonian in No 8 Morgan Morris leading the way and the outstanding Randall sniped through from close range to let Williams drop goal the conversion.
It brought Wales to within two points and in a rousing finale they pressed for the winner only for a lack of experience to let points slip through their hands
Down 24-22 in injury time, Wales replacement outside half Declan Williams (Treorchy CS) just missed with a 30 metre penalty before Wales ran another kickable penalty in the last move of a very exciting game.
Wales Team Manager Gerry Roberts praised the efforts of both sides. "What a cracking match and one which was on a knife edge until the very end," he said.
"We could have won it with a little more composure but the boys were terrific against a bigger England outfit and there is plenty of talent coming through at this age group."
Scorers: Wales: Tries: K Giles, P Lewis, H Randall; Cons: P Jones, D Williams; Pen: P Jones England: Tries: N Isiekwe, A Crossdale, G Ibitoye; Cons: A Crossdale (3): Pen: A Crossdale
Wales: J Rosser (Abersychan CS) (rep T Sheppard (Ysgol Cymer) 68); K Giles (Gowerton CS), O Lane (Whitchurch HS), I Nicholas (Maes Y Gwendraeth), P Lewis (Lewis School Pengam); P Jones (Gowerton CS) (rep D Williams (Treorchy CS) 44), H Randall ( Llandovery College (capt) (rep D Smith (Glan Y Mor CS) 68) ; R Carre (Corpus Christi CS) (rep S Gibbon (Gowerton CS) 66), C Tarrant (Porth CS ) (rep J Liney Gowerton CS) 48), J Davies (Amman Valley CS) (rep H Dodds (Llandaff Cathedral) 56), J Ratti (Bishopston CS), C Bradbury (Bryncelynnog CS), S Lewis-Hughes (Ysgol Gyfyn Cymmer), M Morris (Gowerton CS), O Ellis (Ysgol Llanhari) (rep J Thomas (Blackwood CS) 37 and J Cambriani
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.