Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda are still celebrating after they became the first school in the history of the Welsh Schools Cup to win both the U14's and Under 16's Cup in the same year; an achievement never before realised by any school.
U14's Cymer 34 Maesydderwen 8
Expectations and confidence were running high at the Brewery Field before the final as Cymer U14's had so convincingly beaten Corpus Christi 43-7 in the semi finals. The boys continued their top form and seemed to dominate the game from the first whistle. The forwards were particularly dominant in the early stages with a powerful scrum and accurate line-out. They were able to push Maesydderwen all over the park at will and were always on the front foot.
Early tries came from second row Matthew Paul. His first came when he received a pass from outside half Corey Sheppard, following a driving maul, to burst through the defence and score near the posts. Corey converted for a 7-0 lead. Maesydderwen struck back within minutes to score a penalty. 15 minutes in and Mattew picked up a second try following a lineout peel move, 5m from the try line. He received a pass from Brandon Lewis and powered his way over in the corner. Bradley Tudor converted for a 14-3 lead. Just before the break, Morgan John scored, again from a 5m lineout to give Cymer a half-time lead of 19-3.
The forwards continued their rampage into the second half with another try, a second for Morgan John, as he punched a hole in the defence from the back of a driving maul, 10m from the line. A missed tackle from Cymer allowed Maesydderwen a little hope as their winger raced into the corner for their first try of the game.
Cymer's 5th try fell to scrum half Ashley John from a back-row move off a scrum. No 8 Morgan fed Ashley who darted through the defence to score. In the dying minutes Cymer scored their 6th try from a backs move from the half way. Slick passing saw the initial break from centre Lloyd Parry who, once tackled, placed the ball for Ashley Dogget who outpaced the defence to score in the corner.
Maesydderwen had no answer to the power and pressure of the Cymer team. They were starved of possession by a well balanced and skilful Cymer team. The back row of Morgan John, Dewi Morris and Brandon Lewis was excellent, as was the field positioning of Captain, Corey Sheppard. Final score: 34-8.
U16's Cymer 7 Preseli 6
The pressure was on Cymer having seen the U14's lift the Cup only minutes before the kick-off. The game started at a ferocious pace with both teams looking fired up. Thanks to the rain, and probably some nerves, the ball was a bit like a bar of soap at times as both teams made a number of unforced handling errors. This was killing momentum and led to frustration amongst the players as they were unable to unleash their game plan.
The Cymer forwards were once again able to dominate the scrum and line-out but the team were unable to transfer this into points. Silly errors and a lack of discipline from Cymer allowed Preseli to clear any danger and pin Cymer back into the corners. Just before half time, flanker Bobi Sheppard was sent to the sin bin. The only score in the first half came from two Preseli penalties and they went into the break leading 6 - 0.
Following a stern half time team talk, Cymer began the second half with renewed focus and determination. They cut out the errors and were able to hold onto the ball for longer periods. As they gained ground, the forwards began to show their class and crept closer to the try line with phase after phase of pressure. Following a succession of drives from the likes of Chris Lacey, Connor Mitchinson and Meurig Davies, the line of defence was breached as Garyn Daniel forced his way over. Callum Phillips converted to make the score 7-6.
With 25 minutes still remaining on the clock Cymer had to defend wave after wave of attack from the impressive Preseli backline. The Cymer defence remained strong with big tackles from Luc Rees and centres Callum Phillips and Marcell Pike. With 10 minutes remaining, Preseli missed a penalty that would have put them ahead; and with only 5 minutes left Cymer successfully defended their line from a rampant Preseli forward attack.
Both captains thanked the school for all of the support. "The noise from the 900 supporting fans was like having a 16th man on the team", said Callum Phillips.
Gafyn Stiff, Head of Physical Education and Coach said, "Both teams were brilliant. To reach a single final of the Welsh Cup had always been a professional career goal. Reaching two finals and winning two is a dream come true. It's fantastic news for the school and the players really deserve it after all their hard work and commitment throughout the season. I only hope that this success can rub off on the younger players and inspire them to emulate the U14's and U16's in future years."
Head of PE Dept., Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda
School: 01443 680810