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The Ospreys U18 team were crowned champions of the 2014/15 Regional Age Grade season in a thrilling final which showcased some of the exciting young talent being developed in the Regions.

The Eyasses put in an impressive seven try performance to win 43 – 14 against the Cardiff Blues U18 side at CBC Cente of Excellence in Ystrad Mynach on Wednesday (28th January) evening.

Both teams started with a determined effort with the Eyasses weathering early pressure from the Blues and looked dangerous as soon as they gained control of the ball. When the Blues were penalised, Matthew Aubrey gave the Ospreys a line out just feet from the try line with a perfect place kick.  From there it was down to the patience and teamwork of the Eyasses to get their first try with Callum Jones powering over the line. Phil Jones swiftly adding the conversion.

Despite the Blues doing some good work, the young Ospreys soaked up their attacks and when the Blues knocked on inside their own 22, it set the Eyasses up for try number two. Quick hands sent the ball across field and helped by a Keelan Giles run, Rhys Gealy raced up the wing avoiding Blues players to put the ball down before Phil Jones added another two points with the conversion.

Just ten minutes later the Eyasses were at it again, two fantastic breaks through the Blues defence saw them gain yards before Owen Watkin completed the move and raced over to score try number three. Phil Jones’ successful conversion giving them a 21 – 0 lead after 20 minutes. And two minutes after his last try, Owen Watkin crossed over for the Ospreys’ fourth try.

For a split second it looked like the Blues would be next on the scoreboard after they started a race to the try line with no Eyasses defenders near, but Keelan Giles intercepted the ball to put his side back on the front foot.

The Ospreys made short work of racing up the wing again and just before half an hour had been played, Kieran Williams bagged them try number five.

Despite trailing by 31 points, the Blues still looked strong when they got control of the ball and despite an impressive display by the Ospreys in defence, they finally found a small gap to slide through just before the half time whistle. With the conversion slotting between the posts the game went to half time: Ospreys 31 Blues 7.

The Cardiff Blues U18 side came out fighting at the start of the second half and got an early try and coupled that with strong defensive work and put plenty of pressure on their opponents. Soon pacey winger Keelan Giles was back on the scoreboard again chipping the ball behind the Blues and racing over the try line again. A seventh Ospreys try came and converted by Matthew Aubrey.

Steffan James, Eyasses Head Coach commented on his side’s season and victory in the Regional Age Grade final: “I am absolutely delighted, if you had told me this was going to happen after the start to the season I would never have believed you! To save our finest performance for the final as well has been really satisfying, the boys were superb tonight and it probably couldn’t have gone any better. It was a comprehensive win, the boys played superbly, we were clinical and took all our opportunities and as the scoreboard kept ticking over I wasn’t going to complain about that.”

Congratulations to all the U18 players from all four Regions who have competed and worked so hard, and displayed great commitment in the Regional Age Grade Championships. 

THE PLAYERS IN THE FINAL

Ospreys Under-18

15 James Davies; 14 Keelan Giles; 13 Owen Watkin; 12 Kieran Williams; 11 Rhys Gealy; 10  Phil Jones; 9 Matthew Aubrey; 1 Adam Nation; 2 Kurt Westron; 3 Callum Jones; 4 James Ratti; 5 Chris Long; 6 Mitchell Walsh; 7 Will Jones (C); 8 Charlie Davies.

Replacements: 16 Georg Jawad; 17 Jordon Liney; 18 Sam Matthews; 19 Jacon Blackmore; 20 Josh Cole; 21 Reuben Morgan Williams; 22 Ewan Gully; 23 Stuart Nicholas 

Cardiff Blues Under-18

15 Curtis Povey, 14 Keiron Gay, 13 Owen Lane, 12 Teri Morgan Gee, 11 Harri Lang, 10 Callum Hall, 9 Liam Free; 1 Corey Domachowski, 2 Gerwyn Coleman, 3 Kieron Assiratti, 4 Callum Bradbury, 5 Calum Haggett (c), 6 Aled Ward, 7 Morgan Sieniawski, 8 Joe Gaughan

Replacements: 16 Corey Tarrent, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Harri Dobbs, 19 Owen Jones, 20 Shane Lewis Hughes, 21 Tom Lucas, 22 Jesse Lipetz Robic, 23 Declan Williams