Community Lions of England U19s advance to European final

After qualifying for the semi-finals with five wins from six on Saturday, Wales were on their way to the Lions, who have weathered quite a bit of adversity over the past two days following the devastating loss of assistant coach Gary McMahon.

Early on, the Lions started to turn the screw and opened the scoring when Harvey Oldroyd superbly pulled a gap from a pass from Toby Hughes. Kieran Welburn, making his first appearance in the tournament, was aiming for an early 6-0 advantage but Wales responded well thanks to an excellent run from Gethin Thomas. Mason Phillips gets the try down the left that Billy Walkley scored.

The parity did not last long because inspired by prop Josh Leeson, England advanced. From his midfield break and tip, Hughes jumped over the line from twenty yards and Welburn converted. There was no further goal for almost twenty minutes but England put the pressure on and when Wales conceded a penalty Welburn stepped up their third goal.

Then comes the England try of the match as a blind raid from Oldroyd and Andy Djuekessi runs half the pitch before captain Scott Parnaby juggles the inside pass and Jack Newbegin hits the posts. Welburn scored for a 20-6 advantage, then just at half-time a Wales foray earned them a penalty and Walkley managed to make it 20-8 at half-time.

The second half belonged almost entirely to the Lions with three tries to come in the first quarter of an hour. A cut ball from Ryan Wood found Noah Lancelott to get things done before Harry Penny backed the line pass like a train.

A brilliant kick from Newbegin set the wheels in motion for the next score as Lancelott ran and then unloaded on support Welburn, who scored to open the score 38-8. Wales knew they were chasing the game but were powerless to stop a quick brace from Mekhi Bridgeman and the Lions wrapped up their emphatic victory with six minutes to go when Hughes blasted his way in for his second try and Welburn completed a 24-point run with his tenth goal.

England now face France in the final on Saturday after beating Ukraine 62-7.


16 Ryan Wood

5 Andy Djuekessi

1Harvey Oldroy

4 Callum Murphy

2 Noah Lancelott

7 Connor Goldthorpe

6 Toby Hughes

19 Matty Parkes

9 Logan Holgate

10Josh Leeson

11 Harry Penny

12 Kieran Welburn

13 Scott Parnaby


18 Dylan Turner

8 Rio McQuistan

3Mekhi Bridgeman

14 Jack Newbegin

Try: Oldroyd (5), Hughes (15, 74), Newbegin (35), Lancelott (45), Penny (52), Welburn (55), Bridgeman (65, 68). Goals: Welburn 10/10


1Isaac Morgan

2Dylan Morgan

3 Mason Phillips

15 Alex Banks

19Robert Muirhead

6 Billy Walkley

7 Llewellyn Hawkes

8Oscar Fisher

9 Finley Yates

10 Carter Barnes

11 Scott Prichard

12 Gethin Thomas

14 Jake Lacey


13Charlie Glover

16 Lewis Ingram

22 Dafydd Orr Morgan

24 Calum Jones

Try: Phillips (11). Goals: Walkley 2/2.

Arbitrator: Eamonn Whelan (Ireland).

Charles P. Patton