What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Cup holders Llandovery made the quarter finals of this year’s competition after struggling to beat a lively, albeit niggly Bargoed side.
Llandovery coach Euros Evans, who coached the side to cup glory last year, was not well pleased with the outcome. The Drovers had walloped Bargoed 48-7 back in September but this time they produced one of their least convincing performances of the season.
“We won but we never played with the tempo and pace we have been showing in recent games,” said Evans. “We are happy to go through to the last eight and we blooded a few youngsters in the process but we will need to up our game a lot in the quarter finals and become far more accurate in our use of the ball.”
Evans was particularly pleased with the form of 21 year old lock Joe Powell who carried the ball hard, tackled strongly and ran like a stag in the loose to be named as Man of the Match.
There was also a big tap on the back for the second half front row of Jamie Hughes, Matthew Moore and Scott Jenkins who, with an average age of 20, faced up well against some wizened front row opponents.
Llandovery’s back row of Phil Day, Richard Brooks and Duane Eager had a royal battle in the loose against opposite numbers Adam Coupe, Lewis Weyman and Alex Herbert but it was the extra pace and cutting edge of the home backs under scrum half Lee Rees that eventually proved crucial.
Llandovery College and Wales U18 wing Corey Baldwin and fellow wing Aaron Warren got the first half tries against one by Herbert to make it 17-5 at the break. Baldwin was put in by centre Rhodri Jones but it was Warren’s try that was the more important in that Bargoed at the time were pressing hard at only 10-5 down to snatch a half time lead. Deft hands from Day and Eager sent the lanky Warren galloping away up the touchline to race in for a try that fly half James Davies converted easily.
17-5 was harsh on the visitors and for the next 30 minutes they unsettled Llandovery with their commitment at the breakdown, sound line out and over aggressive tackling.
Replacement Stuart Worrall marked his 50th appearance for the Drovers with some trade mark big hits in a bruising cup tie. But yellow cards for wing David Evans and replacement Lee Beach in no way helped the Bargoed cause and the introduction of Llandovery’s leading points scorer Jack Maynard proved crucial. He kicked a penalty and then dummied right through to set up centre Richard Smith for the converted try that finally killed off the Bargoed challenge.