Croeso cynnes iawn i bawb o Glwb Rygbi Llanelli i Fanc Yr Eglwys heddiw! We welcome our friends from Llanelli to the Church Bank for our first local derby game of the 18/19 season!
Llanelli will surely be determined to chalk up their first win of the season on the back of, what appears to have been, a more competitive performance against league champions, Merthyr, than perhaps the score and the league table suggests. In such a crucial season Drovers’ supporters would be strongly advised against underestimating the challenge from our Parc y Scarlets based competitors, they have had a tough opening round of games and will be a real challenge. Meanwhile Llandovery will be equally determined to sustain the momentum generated from three straight wins and some sparkling rugby, home and away. Those who have had the privilege of watching all the games this season will have been impressed not only by the flowing back play but also how the attacking style has been built around some fantastic periods of defensive play. Yes, some tries have leaked away at the end of the games, for example last week at Bedwas, but whilst this has been frustrating for our coaching team they have been conceded only when the game was well and truly won.
One of the players who has made a huge contribution to both our attacking flair and stubborn defence ever since he joined the club in the 13/14 season is one Rhodri Jones. At the time of writing the team has not been announced but I expect that, if fit, Rhodri’s name will be one of the first added to the team sheet and if so it will be his 150th appearance for the Club. Da iawn Rhodri, diolch am eich cyfraniad dros y blynyddoedd a gobeithio y bydd yn parhau. It is no surprise that Rhodri has become a favourite with our supporters as he epitomises the style of rugby we all enjoy and he plays it with a smile!
Over recent years we have introduced a number of innovations to ensure that we extend the on field entertainment into the stand and the clubhouse before and after the game. Notable amongst these developments has been the Ladies Day that will take place towards the end of the season but today we celebrate our first “Club 23” match. Devised by “Huw S” members of this new exclusive club within a club will, each season, be our guests for our local derby fixtures against Llanelli and the Quins so, as this is the first of these fixtures, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their support and I hope you have a great day. Amongst a number of “benefits” that members gain is a cash prize (£50) depending on which player scores the first and/or last try in each of the Premiership home fixtures (hence the restriction to “23” members). Naturally when the draw was made to allocate each member a player there was some speculation as to which players appear on the sore card and whether they score first or last!
The game is sponsored by Nigel Short of Penderyn Distillery, thank you Nigel both for your continued support and for the work you do supporting the Premiership clubs within the Scarlets region! Our match ball has been sponsored by Mr Rowland Williams formerly of Llandovery and now based in Pembrokeshire – Thank you!
For those of you reading these notes on social media or from our website before the weekend can I ask whether you might be prepared to help the club greatly by becoming an occasional match steward? You do not have to attend every game but we desperately need to expand our bank of volunteers so we are holding a short briefing/training session on Friday evening (21st) @ 6.00 pm and we would like everyone to come along for a free drink and refreshments even if only to find out what is involved – no commitments but it would be very much appreciated!
Finally it promises to be a great weekend in Llandovery as in addition to one of our favourite fixtures of the year we also have our now regular and famous Sheep Festival event on across the town. I would urge our visitors to take some time to stop off at the Castle car park, the Market Square and other points too numerous to mention to join in the festivities and to get an idea what makes Llandovery the great place that it is on and off the rugby pitch!
Er Gwaethaf Pawb a Phopeth Ni Yma o Hyd! Ymlaen Y Porthmyn!
Peter Rees Cadeirydd/Chairman