What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery were good value for their win in the penultimate game of the season and it puts them in good heart for the all Tywi Valley clash with the Quins this Saturday.
In front of a large Ladies Day rainbow coloured crowd of the town’s great and female good, the Drovers treated their supporters to a rousing performance both of skill and determination.
The Steelmen had the lion’s share of possession but Llandovery used theirs more accurately, with huge contributions from their outstanding half backs Lee Rees and Jack Maynard.
It meant that win or lose against Carmarthen Quins the Drovers will finish the season the best placed club in the Scarlets region ahead of both the Quins and Llanelli.
Llandovery coach Euros Evans was delighted at the win even though it was too late for any chance of a top four finish: “We had little to play for whilst Ebbw knew they had to win to keep their qualification chances alive so the zest and enthusiasm we showed was great to see. The boys defended hard and with huge gusto, ran good lines in attack and looked the fitter side at the end.”
“The last few games have been a real trial such has been the number of injuries to key players but a lot of young players have had opportunities to prove themselves at Tier One level and come through it well,” said Evans.
No names were mentioned but the likes of lock Joe Powell, centre Rhodri Wall and teenage props Jamie Hughes and Scott Jenkins had fine games and there was an impressive debut for Llandovery College pupil and Wales U18 full back Tomi Lewis.
“Game time for young players is essential for their future well-being and Llandovery has a strong tradition of bringing on promising talent,” added Evans.
Highlight of the game was the brilliant solo try from Llandovery fly half Jack Maynard which helped put his side 11-10 up at the break. The fly half dummied through on the half way line then put his head back to sprint in despite the persistent attentions of the cover.
Ebbw got a penalty try at the scrum when the Drovers were down to 14 men after the sin binning of prop Dean Howells. Bath bound fly half Josh Lewis added a conversion and penalty but Maynard’s brace of penalties kept the Drovers in front.
After the interval, the sparkling Lee Rees was the key man in a Llandovery build up that ended with Howells twisting over cleverly at the posts. Maynard added the conversion and, although centre Dom Franchi scrambled a second Ebbw try, Maynard’s third penalty and a tally of 16 points made it 21-15.
The Steelmen then had one last chance but a close range line out was defended well by the Drovers to secure a well deserved win which dashed Ebbw hopes of a play-off spot.