Bridgend Athletic Youth secured a memorable win over Glamorgan Wanderers Youth at the weekend
RAF Careers Youth League - Play Off Final: Bridgend Athletic Youth 17 Glamorgan Wanderers Youth 10
With outstanding performances throughout the season, Bridgend Athletic and Glamorgan Wanderers had already established themselves as the two best Youth teams in Wales before Saturday's match at sun-drenched Llanharan where the title of Champion Youth Team in Wales was at stake.
In a hugely competitive match, which at times threatened to boil over on a very hot afternoon, both teams gave their all in an enthralling and exciting finale to the RAF Careers Youth League season.
In the early stages Glamorgan Wanderers, with their big pack to the fore, established field position in Athletic territory. A penalty from the reliable boot of outside half Diggy Bird gave them a 3-0 lead.
Bridgend Athletic's forwards fought their way back into the match, with the back row of Sean Derrick, Sam Treharne and captain Stuart Edbrooke in the vanguard but half time arrived with Glamorgan Wanderers still leading 3-0.
After the interval, following further pressure from their forwards, the Wanderers extended their lead with a try from replacement flanker Owen Thomas converted by Bird.
Bridgend Athletic's backs, with outside-half Matthew Morgan and full back Michael Powell becoming increasingly influential, launched a series of attacks which stretched the Wanderers defence.
Athletic reduced the deficit with a penalty from Tom Davies and quickly levelled the scores with a try from impressive centre James Olds converted by Davies.
As the match entered the closing stages, both teams had their chances before the match was settled in the last 10 minutes with a breakaway try for all-action No8, Derrick. Again Davies converted before Bridgend Athletic held their nerve in the closing minutes to claim the RAF Careers Youth League title.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.