What the Papers Say - Tom Hughes reports:
The Drovers did the double over Bridgend with this hard-fought win at Church Bank.
The Ravens had taken some big scalps recently – noticeably Pontypridd in the league and Cardiff in the Cup – and looked likely to add a defeat of Llandovery to their credit after taking a healthy half-time lead. The visitors stormed to a 14-3 lead with a long-range try from Tom O’Flaherty and an interception effort from scrum-half Chris Williams - both converted by fly-half James Dixon - and all a hesitant Llandovery could muster was a lone penalty from fly half James Garland.
Although enjoying the lion’s share of possession and territory, the Drovers could not break through a committed Bridgend defence and it took a half-time revision of tactics to get them back into the game.
Coaches Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans identified the problem. “We played too close to the contact area, looking for holes in the Bridgend defence,” said Evans. “Once we started moving the ball away earlier and gave some width to the attack, the openings came and in the end we could have got a lot more points on the board.”
A try two minutes after the break – made by wing Aaron Warren and scored by centre Rhodri Jones – settled any nerves and with the conversion by fly half James Garland it brought Llandovery back to 14-10. A couple of Garland penalties took the Drovers into the lead and with Garland himself getting a try and conversion against a Dixon penalty, the home side looked a confident unit.
Warren was a constant danger and Garland directed attacks with aplomb, and with the Ravens stretched in defence the only surprise at the end of the day was that the scoreline showed just a seven point difference between the sides.
Attention this week switches to the Swalec Cup when the Drovers entertain Swansea in the round of the last 16. With little hope of making the Premiership play-offs, Llandovery’s chief objective now will be to get to the final at the Millennium Stadium in May. Memories of the win over Cardiff to win the Cup in 2007 are still fresh in the memory and the Drovers are just three wins away from a final re-appearance.