A number of former Rugby Academy graduates played a starring role for RGC in their 33-13 victory over Cross Keys last weekend.
No fewer than six ex-Rydal Penrhos pupils were involved in the Principality Premiership clash, with Sam Jones, Dion Jones, Efan Jones, Mei Parry, Joe Simpson and Danny Cross all contributing significantly to their success.
A good spell from the home side early on saw Tom Hughes collect a long Billy McBryde kick, but the Keys rearguard held firm in the face of some consistent pressure on the five-metre line on two minutes.
The Gogs were controlling the phases impressively during the opening exchanges despite some thumping challenges from the visitors, and they went ahead after seven minutes when McBryde slotted over a penalty following an infringement.
Keys levelled proceedings on 17 minutes when Will Kelly despatched a free-kick of his own, and things got even better for Keys soon after when a fine passing move saw forward Gary Carpenter go over in the corner with 21 gone. Kelly hit the post with the conversion attempt.
Mark Jones’ men were on the front foot on 28 minutes and they notched their first try of the clash when a brilliant pass from Efan Jones fed Karl Martin, who touched down on his first start for the club. McBryde missed the extras.
A yellow card for Gogs’ number eight Tim Grey after 32 minutes was swiftly followed by another Keys’ score on 33 through Ellis Shipp after a rolling maul, with Kelly failing with the conversion in swirling wind.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, RGC reduced the arrears with the final action of the first period thanks to a McBryde penalty.
After the interval saw another McBryde penalty after 41 minutes give the hosts a slender lead, and a sensational tackle from Rory Budina denied Gogs’ flanker Will Bryan a score with 50 on the clock.
The home side were now fully in the ascendancy and another fine passing move saw Danny Cross go over on 53 minutes which was unconverted by McBryde, and they all-but sealed their victory with 67 gone when a probing run from Tom Hughes fed Sam Jones, who demonstrated his trademark pace to cross the white wash. McBryde added the extras.
Jones was at it again soon after when he penetrated the Keys rearguard to dive over for the bonus point try after 72 minutes, with McBryde drilling the conversion to round off the scoring.
Photos by Tony Bale.