Players from Rhiwbeina Primary and Llanishen Fach Primary in Rhiwbina, as well as other local schools, helped Cardiff Schools U11s to victory in the final of rugby’s prestigious DC Thomas Cup.
The Cardiff team included Owen Carter and Morgan Appleyard (Rhiwbeina), Iestyn Hutchings (Llanishen Fach), Matthew Bridge (Coed Glas in Llanishen), Ethan Witchell (Melin Gruffydd in Whitchurch), Harry Lovett, Ellis James, Tom Weare (Rhydypenau in Llanishen), Finn Roberts (Ton Yr Ywen in Heath), Noah Ossei-Gerning (Whitchurch Primary), Dewi Thomas, Cohen Davies (Ysgol Y Wern in Llanishen).
Year 5 and Year 6 pupils from across the capital took to the pitch at Cardiff Arms Park to face Pontypridd Schools in the final of a competiton, which covers all of Wales.
With the scores level at 15 -15 and seconds on the clock, Cardiff Schools’ scrum half and captain Sion Davies went over for a try to round off the last play of the game and seal a dramatic 20-15 win in front of a 700 strong crowd.
Reflecting on the win, Cardiff Schools U11s coach and teacher at Greenway Primary School, Andrew Parker said: “We have been lucky this year to have a group of very gifted children who have worked hard and deserve this achievement. As a teacher and coach, we are extremely proud of every member of the squad.
“Congratulations to Pontypridd Schools as well who played an equal part in creating one of the most intense and memorable finals to date. Thank you to the WRU and Cardiff Blues for putting on a wonderful day and an occasion that the children will remember forever.”
Former Cardiff Schools player and current Blues fullback Dan Fish presented the squad with their match day jerseys in the build up to the game.
The team had to see off Llwchwr Schools, Siroedd Y Gogledd, Rhondda Schools and The Vale of Glamorgan Schools in the earlier rounds, before booking a place in the final for the fifth year in succession.
The DC Thomas Cup is the U11s’ second piece of silverware this season, having earlier won the Michael Rein Trophy on their tour to Dublin, winning 35-10 in their annual match against Terenure College – a relationship which goes back 40 years.
The 2017 Cardiff Schools U11s Squad
Scott Vipond (Bryn Deri Primary School), Kaylum Kelly (Bryn Celyn), Griff Bevan, Benedict Griffin (Cathedral School), Matthew Bridge (Coed Glas), Sion Davies, Huw Evans (Creigiau), Iestyn Hutchings (Llanishen Fach), Luke Caple (Llysfaen), Ethan Witchell (Melin Gruffydd), Harry Burrows (Pwll Coch), Conor McNamara (Radyr), Owen Carter, Morgan Appleyard (Rhiwbeina), Harry Lovett, Ellis James, Tom Weare (Rhydypenau), Archie Lane (St Mary’s), Jack Walton (St Mellons), Matthew Burke, Devan Saunders (St Peters), Finn Roberts (Ton Yr Ywen), Osian Darwin Lewis (Treganna), Noah Ossei-Gerning (Whitchurch), Llew O’Brien, James Clark, Dafydd Bragg, Fynn Annandale, Conor Milsom, Ben Roberts (Ysgol Y Berllan Deg), Dewi Thomas, Cohen Davies (Ysgol Y Wern).
Andrew Parker, Nic Naish, Rhys Beynon (Greenway Primary School), Matthew Wilson (St Paul’s Primary School).