Youth season set for fitting finale

The RAF Careers National Youth League comes to a fitting climax at Llanharan tomorrow when holders Bridgend Athletic play Glamorgan Wanderers Youth in the Play-Off Final (2.30pm).

They are arguably the strongest two youth sides in Wales at the moment with Glamorgan Wanderers having won the Blues Division A title having seen off a strong Merthyr Youth side, and lifted the Webb Ellis Youth Cup.

Bridgend Athletic clinched the double last season, won the Ospreys Division A title this season and are still reeling from losing to tomorrow’s opposition in the Cup semi-final. That was Bridgend Athletic’s only loss of the season so far, while the Wanderers too have only lost one game, going down 8-5 to Beddau in a League game.

Bridgend Athletic Youth secretary Mark Davies said, “We’ve had a very successful season and although we lost to the Wanderers in the Cup semi-final, we will be going out tomorrow to retain our League title and prevent them repeating what we achieved last season in winning the double!

“Our strengths lie in our backline while the Wanderers have a formidable forwards pack which I’m sure will produce a very competitive game.

“We benefit from a strong mini and juniors set-up and pride ourselves in quality coaching to develop the skills of the youngsters this youth side benefits from a top notch coaching team under Mark Watts.

“We are always pleased when players are selected for District and Regional sides and we are thrilled to be flying the flag for Bridgend and the Ospreys in the final.”

Glamorgan Wanderers Youth secretary Paul Dawson added, “Our achievements this season are a culmination of three years of hard work developing players and strengthening our junior and youth sections.

“We are fully aware that Bridgend Athletic would like to avenge our Cup semi-final victory but as far as we are concerned it will be 0-0 when we run out tomorrow.

“It was a very hard-fought game in the semi and only a second half comeback gave us the win.

“Our team spirit and belief in each other have been our major strengths this season and it would be a fantastic achievement for head coach Stuart Baird and his players and coaches to clinch the double.

“I’ve been with some of these players since the Under 10s and it’s great to see how far they’ve come. Dan Fish played for us last season and I’m sure a number of these players could step up to play rugby at a higher level.”

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