What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery won their third game out of four in Phase Two of the Premiership after getting far the better of the one dimensional Ebbw Vale at Church Bank writes Huw S Thomas.
Ebbw wore their purple change kit to avoid the confusion that has occurred when the Drovers and Steelmen both wear their red, green and white jerseys but it brought them little luck in the very cold conditions.
After the disappointment of defeat at Bedwas, this was a welcome return to form for the Drovers
Ebbw had won six of their last seven games but despite the advantage of a biting east wind in the first half, they could only lead 6-5 at the break.
Thereafter it was all Llandovery, much to the satisfaction of coaches Euros Evans, Simon Davies and Gareth Potter.
Llandovery Head Coach Euros Evans paid tribute to his pack after the 17-6 win.
“If you are second best at scrum and line out to Ebbw Vale you are in for a very long and tough afternoon “said Evans.
“We had a young front row in Berian Watkins, Dafydd Hughes and Scott Jenkins and they were tested to the full but came through with flying colours.”
“We went into the break just 6-5 down after playing into a strong and icy wind and our kicking game always kept us in the ascendancy in the second half.”
“There is a really hard game coming up against Cross Keys in Wednesday’s Welsh Cup quarter final and we will have to produce another good performance against a Gwent side to get into the last four.”
There was a brilliant start to the game for the Drovers when hooker Dafydd Hughes got a try after just two minutes, catching the Ebbw defence asleep by sprinting away from a line out to dive over in the corner.
Thereafter the visitors had most of the possession and territory but failed to exert their usual pressure on the scrum and all they had to show for it was two long penalties by fly half Dai Langdon.
Fly half Jack Maynard put the Drovers back into the lead soon after the interval with a 40 metre penalty and another Maynard penalty made it 11-6.
Ebbw were continually forced to pick and go from deep with flankers Rhys Clarke and Ronny Kynes prominent but an infringement near half way saw Maynard put over his third penalty
A rare Maynard miss kick in front of his own posts put Llandovery in trouble but the Ebbw forwards failed to capitalise, being held up on the line.
Replacement Lance Randall made an impact but the home forwards, reinforced by back rowers Stuart Worrall and Richard Brooks also gave Llandovery fresh impetus.
A fracas saw Llandovery’s Duane Eager and Ebbw lock Chris Parker yellow carded and the Steelmen’s fate was sealed with a huge Maynard penalty from well inside his own half.
Llandovery: K Jones; L William (D Pritchard 80), R Evans, R Wall, A Warren; J Maynard, S Maynard (A Davies 75); B Watkins (L Green 69), D Hughes (R Guest 69), S Jenkins (J Bamsey 69), J Jones (L Ellis-Jones 75), M Jones, D Eager (capt), E Price (R Brooks 69), S Miles (S Worrall 40)
Ebbw Vale: D Haymond; T Fricker, J Lewis, D Franchi, S Thomas (T Hoppe 64); D Langdon (L Dennett 70), D Jones (S Ireland 64); J Harries (J Rogers 73), J Franchi (R Francis 64), R Sevenoaks (S Hicks 58), K Parker, J Jacas (L Randall 45) R Clarke, L Young (J Davies 73), R Kynes (capt)
Referee: Mike English (Chepstow)
Try – D Hughes; Pens – J Maynard (4)
Pens - D Langdon (2)