*Image courtesy of Jason Clark
By: Paul Hopkins
Llandovery’s hoodoo over Swansea extended to 16 matches as the Church Bank side ran out 20-3 winners on a cold evening.
The Swansea pack showed their power and determination in the opening minute when they forced the Drovers to pull it down illegally. Steffen Williams kicked to the corner and a second maul from the lineout earned a second penalty in front of the posts, which the fly half converted.
Impressive flanker Stuart Worrall broke through a tackle to power over half way, but centre Joe Thomas picked up a loose ball and raced up to the twenty-two, before knocking on.
The visitors continued their positive start as the forwards inched towards the line, but Steffen Williams’ chip through beat the chasing winger Joe Jenkins into touch.
A superb break through the middle by full back Gavin Thomas created space for Llandovery’s first notable attack and offside in midfield by the Swansea defence gifted fly half Jack Maynard three points.
The Whites backs looked to respond, but a one handed tap down by winger Aaron Warren gave referee Adam Jones no option but to issue a yellow card.
The Llandovery forwards camped on the Swansea line, but a resolute defence forced Maynard to fall back into the pocket, where he dropped a goal to give his side the lead.
On the stroke of half time winger Richard Williams juggled a loose ball and raced down the wing, finding Gavin Thomas in support. The full back drew in the last defender and slipped a scoring pass to centre Ryan Evans. Maynard converted.
Half-time:- Llandovery 13 Swansea 3
Swansea were back on the attack immediately after the interval, but the Drovers fielded a high kick and cleared long through Maynard.
Centre Rhodri Jones made a lively run in midfield, but the home side were driven backwards, forcing Maynard into an aimless kick as the move broke down.
The visitors tried to maul out of defence inside their own twenty-two, but were unable to release the ball, surrendering possession in a dangerous position. It almost proved costly as Rhodri Jones charged through, but the Whites stole possession and cleared through scrum half Chris Morgans.
Great pressure by Warren forced a Swansea forward pass inside the twenty-two, gifting the Drovers another promising set piece, but an infringement at the scrum gave the visitors much needed respite.
With time running out a powerful visitors maul was pulled down by replacement prop Dexter Thomas, who was yellow carded. Substitute full back R Rhys Williams kicked to the corner but from the lineout, the Drovers pack expertly repelled the maul and turned over possession.
A touch of fortune saw Llandovery seal victory when the Whites failed to deal with a high kick, which bounced into the grateful hands of Warren, who raced clear to score under the posts. Maynard converted.
Next up for Llandovery is a trip to Ebbw Vale, while Swansea host Newport.
Full-time:- Llandovery 20 Swansea 3
Tries:- Ryan Evans (40+2), Aaron Warren (74)
Cons:- Jack Maynard (40+3, 75)
Pens:- Jack Maynard (19)
DGs:- Jack Maynard (31)
Yellow cards:- Aaron Warren (20), Dexter Thomas (68)
Pens:- Steffen Williams (4)
Venue:- Church Bank, Llandovery
Referee:- Adam Jones
Weather:- Light rain, 9C
Man of the match:- Stuart Worrall
15 Gavin Thomas (rep: Kristian Jones 62)
14 Richard Williams (rep: Carwyn Evans 66 (rep: Llyr Green 72-79))
13 Ryan Evans (rep: Dafydd Land 75)
12 Rhodri Jones
11 Aaron Warren
10 Jack Maynard
9 Lee Rees ©
1 Dino Dallavalle (rep: Jamie Hughes 62)
2 Ricky Guest (rep: Matthew Moore 79)
3 Llyr Green (rep: Dexter Thomas 62)
4 Jack Jones
5 Joe Powell
6 Lewis Ellis-Jones
7 Stuart Worrall
8 Emyr Price (rep: Rhys Jones 62 (rep: Shaun Miles 79))
16 Dexter Thomas
17 Jamie Hughes
18 Rhys Jones
19 Shaun Miles
20 Matthew Moore
21 Carwyn Evans
22 Kristian Jones
23 Dafydd Land
15 Phil Jones (rep: R Rhys Williams 58)
14 Andrew Claypole (rep: Gareth Rees 58)
13 Tom Williams
12 Joe Thomas
11 Joe Jenkins
10 Steffen Williams
9 Chris Morgans (rep: Tom Ham 75)
1 Tom Sloane (rep: Tom Northy 75)
2 Ifan Phillips
3 Alex Jeffries (rep: Mitchell Walsh 75)
4 James Ratti (rep: Matt Dodd 75)
5 Will Griffiths
6 Morgan Morris
7 Will Jones (rep: Callum Bowden 58)
8 Jon Fox ©
16 Josh Clark
17 Tom Northy
18 Mitchell Walsh
19 Matt Dodd
20 Callum Bowden
21 Tom Ham
22 Gareth Rees
23 R Rhys Williams