JUBILANT director of rugby Steve Llewellyn is hoping Coleg Gwent will reap the rewards of their sensational Welsh Schools and Colleges League success.

Fly-half Joe Westwood was the hero at Sardis Road in Pontypridd on Tuesday night as his late penalty and drop-goal sealed a 14-8 win against final opponents Coleg y Cymoedd.

Victory for Coleg Gwent came eight years after their only previous title, won by a team which featured current Dragons players Elliot Dee, Ollie Griffiths, James Benjamin and Jack Dixon.

They had gone into the winner-takes-all clash with reigning champions Coleg y Cymoedd as the underdogs but aware that favourites don’t always come out on top on the big day.

Coleg y Cymoedd, which has campuses in Aberdare, Nantgarw, Rhondda and Ystrad Mynach, took an early lead through a Tyler Morris penalty.

Westwood, son of former Newbridge, Newport and Cross Keys full-back Jonathan, brought Coleg Gwent level, only for opposition wing Cavan Davies to race over and make it 8-3 at the break.

But Coleg Gwent hit back through second row Joe Peard’s close-range effort following a scything run from full-back Dylan Edwards.

The momentum was now with Coleg Gwent and Westwood kicked a magnificent 40-metre penalty to give his side the lead.

And just two minutes later, Westwood was on target again, landing a long-range drop-goal to make it 14-8.

Coleg y Cymoedd threw the kitchen sink at captain Connor Chapman and his charges, but some superb defence prevented the champions from retaining their crown.

“It was pretty nail-biting at the end, but fair play to the boys, they are a committed bunch and deserved everything they got,” said Llewellyn, who has been at the college for 22 years.

“Cymoedd came out firing in the first half and put us under pressure, but we managed to repel them, and the attitude of our boys was incredible, they all put their bodies on the line.

“It would have been a totally different game if Cymoedd had scored some tries early on.

“We were 8-3 down at half-time but we’ve instilled a belief in the boys that they are capable of winning any match, and they stamped their authority on the final in the second half.

“We got the try and then Joe hit a couple of spectacular kicks to put us six points up, but we still needed our never-say-die attitude to stop Cymoedd snatching it at the end.

“I can’t fault the boys, they were 100% committed, and I was really proud of them.

“We work hard behind the scenes to recruit the best players we can, so it’s great when they give so much back to you.”

He added: “It’s hard to compare this win with 2012, which we won with a drop-goal from Niall Martin on the last play of the game.

“A lot of those who played then have gone on to represent the Dragons and Wales, and hopefully a couple of the current squad can go on and do the same.

“About half of this squad are in the first year of college so they will be with us next season, while we’ve also got a couple of the younger lads out injured.

“This win is great for the future. We will now recruit as well as we can, and hopefully being Welsh champions will mean boys want to come and join a success story – and get the benefits from it.”

Llewellyn is joined in the management team by coaches Scott Matthews, part of the triumphant 2012 team, former Wales fly-half Matthew Jones and strength and conditioning duo Harry Johnson and Gareth Hodson.