Coleg y Cymoedd lifted a fourth Welsh Schools & Colleges Cup after securing a dramatic win over Coleg Sir Gâr at Sardis Road on Tuesday.
Lee Davies’ side featured in their seventh consecutive final, retaining their title as replacement Lloyd Wilkins inspired the Cymoedd to a stunning comeback.
The west Wales outfit opened the scoring in Pontypridd as hooker Rhodri King bundled over from the base of a rampant driving line-out.
However, the defending champions wasted no time in replying, as Cavan Davies slid over the whitewash out wide, after a fine break from Lloyd Gregory put his side on the front foot.
Tyler Morris put Coleg y Cymoedd ahead with a penalty on the 15-minute mark, but once again Coleg Sir Gâr responded impressively to regain the lead.
A chip in midfield from Jack Tregoning was collected by Bradley Roderick, and while the centre didn’t have the pace to run for the try-line, he fed partner Ilan Phillips on the outside, who finished to give his side a 14-10 lead at the interval.
Sir Gâr extended their lead early in the second half, as the Cymoedd’s back three failed to deal with a high kick from scrum half Dai Jones.
King galloped downfield to pick up the loose possession and looked destined for the corner for his second score of the evening. However, Bailey Roberts put his body on the line to tackle the hooker meters short, but Callum Williams was in support to take the offload for a clear run-in.
Ethan Fackrell proved his worth at the breakdown for the hosts, forcing a number of turnovers, while Morris remained calm on the tee to add another three points for his side.
However, Wilkins was introduced to the game, which shifted momentum towards Lee Davies’ side.
After Cymoedd won a scrum against-the-head, the replacement’s perfectly weighted, driven kick out wide was collected by Iwan Price-Thomas, who advanced into the 22 before offloading back inside for Wilkins to touch down, moments after coming on.
The missed conversion meant Sir Gâr remained in the lead by a single point, but a penalty from Wilkins did put Coleg y Cymoedd in front, and they didn’t look back.
With two minutes remaining, another crossfield kick from Wilkins bounced favourably for Will Clapham, who touched down to put the result beyond doubt.
Director of rugby, Lee Davies, said: With 10 minutes to go I was a bit worried and I didn't think we would do it, but the way they fought back just showed the character of this team.
"They put in a great shift in the second half and they showed their huge desire to defend. We have only lost one game all season and we managed to come back to win the final and hold onto our title.
"Sir Gar are a very well coached team that is full of talent. They made it difficult for us and we saw two teams who wanted to express themselves and made it a great final.”
Coleg Y Cymoedd: Bailey Roberts; Cavan Davies, Macauley Rowley, Iwan Sheppard, Iwan Price-Thomas; Tyler Morris, Ethan Lloyd; Harrison Chapman, Mitch Savage, Rhys Lewis, Cai James, Mitchel Barnard, Lloyd Gregory, Ethan Fackrell, Ieuan Pring (captain)
Reps: Arwel Hughes, Travis Green, Iestyn Haskins, Rhys Anstey, Alex Mann, Rhys Howells, Lloyd Wilkins, Will Clapham
Coleg Sir Gâr: Dean James; Callum Williams, Ilan Phillips, Bradley Roderick, Harrison Button; Jack Tregoning, Dai Jones; Keelan Jewell, Rhodri King, Zak Giannini, Joe Scott, Ryan Evans, Leon Samuel, Caine Rees-Jones, Sam Williams (captain)
Reps: Morgan Thomas, Nikki Frampton, Sean Janes, Elliot Briskham, Sam Richards, Lewis Clayton, Jac Howells, Liam Cox
Welsh Schools & Colleges League Finals
2010/11: Coleg Sir Gar 20, Coleg Gwent 19
2011/12: Coleg Sir Gar 16, Coleg Gwent 17
2012/13: Coleg Sir Gar 18, Coleg Morgannwg 16
2013/14: Coleg Sir Gar 25, Coleg Y Cymoedd (formerly Morgannwg) 22,
2014/15: Coleg Y Cymoedd 13, Coleg Sir Gar 3
2015/16: Coleg Y Cymoedd 44, Coleg Sir Gar 24
2016/17: Coleg Sir Gar 27, Coleg Y Cymoedd 23
2017/18: Coleg Y Cymoedd 29, Coleg Sir Gar 10
2018/19: Coleg Y Cymoedd 28, Coleg Sir Gar 19