COLEG Gwent's Under-18 girls team had reason to celebrate after being crowned Welsh Schools and Colleges champions, writes Carl Field.

Coached by Cross Keys captain Scott Matthews, the all-conquering Gwent girls won all three of their round-robin matches at the Wern in Merthyr to leave with the trophy.

They were competing against three other sides who had also successfully qualified for the finals earlier this season.

First up was a 29-20 victory over Gower College, a win inspired by two tries off the bench from Lara Phillips, before a comprehensive 34-0 victory over Dyffryn Conwy School.

It was a one-sided affair with the clinical finishing and excellent skills of Gwent's fast backs too much for their north Walian opponents. Jess Brooks, Seren Mogford, Jenna Hughes, Kenzie Tutton and Bethan Thomas were the try scorers.

It left them needing either a victory or a draw in the final game against Gwernyfed High School.

Gwernyfed were also undefeated up until that point but the Gwent girls certainly didn't disappoint when, in a game that was perfectly poised at 12-12 at the turnaround, they ran out eventual 26-12 winners.

They were presented with the trophy by current Welsh international Ffion Lewis while special praise was reserved for captain Tutton who was named player of the tournament.

Tutton's talent has not gone unnoticed and she is also currently training with the Welsh Women's Commonwealth Games rugby sevens squad as part of the Welsh Women progression programme.

Meanwhile Coleg Gwent's Under-18 boys – Welsh Schools and Colleges League semi-finalists last month – have also enjoyed an excellent season, but they were unable to replicate that success at the Llandovery Schools Sevens tournament staged at Church Bank, losing both matches played.

Despite a 25-0 defeat by Ysgol Glantaf, Gwent still qualified for the cup knockout stages from Group F courtesy of a walkover against Cardiff and Vale College's B side.

However, their hopes were dashed by a 29-17 defeat in the round of 16 by Millfield School, the only non-Welsh school or college school among 24 competing in eight groups of three.

Newport High School sailed through Group B against Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr and Neath Port Talbot College before seeing off Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera in the round of 16. They went out 35-14 at the hands of Gower College in the quarter-finals.

Bassaleg School and Caerleon Comprehensive both finished bottom of their respective pools and were therefore two of the third placed sides to enter the plate quarter-finals.

It was there that Bassaleg went down 15-7 against Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr while Caerleon were defeated 15-0 by Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin.

Cardiff and Vale A won the cup, beating Glantaf in the final, while Llandovery College bagged the Plate after seeing off Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr.

In other action, Newport Schools Under-11s are now just one step away from a second successive DC Thomas Plate final appearance after beating Dinefwr 20-10 at Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth in Cefneithin in reach the semi-finals.

Newport opened the scoring when a Brandon Foley interception saw the ball moved through several pairs of hands before wing Tom Stacey crossed in the corner.

Then another interception, this time by Joe Salter, again ended with Stacey touching down to put the side 10-0 up at the break.

Fellow winger Finn Proudman powered through several attempted tackles to stretch that lead to 15-0 before captain David Petrescu made sure with a fourth Newport try.

Two Dinefwr tries would not stop Newport leaving with the victory, which sets up a semi-final showdown with either Islwyn or Cynon Valley as they aim to go one better than their defeat by Pontypool Schools in the final last season.

Pontypool are competing in the DC Thomas Cup this season, although their semi-final with Neath Schools will be rearranged after the scheduled tie at Pontypool United last Saturday morning was postponed.