Chairman Handel Davies previews Wednesday’s Boxing Day home Premiership game v Carmarthen Quins, k.o. 230pm:
I trust that you will all have had a wonderful Xmas!! Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd a gobeithio cawsoch hwyl a sbri dros yr wyl gyda digon i fwyta a dim gormod i yfed!!
Croeso i ein cefnogwyr ac hefyd i ein ymwelwyr sef Cwins Caerfyrddyn i Banc Yr Egwlys am ein gem heddiw ar ddydd Gwyl Sant Steffan! We extend a festive welcome to our closest Premiership rivals Carmarthen Quins for today’s Boxing Day derby game - a tremendous fixture that traditionally draws a large crowd to provide a significant boost to club coffers.
However please spare a thought for the players who will each have had to ratchet back their seasonal celebrations somewhat and hopefully will have not gorged on too much turkey and trimmings yesterday, with one eye focussed firmly on the significance of today’s encounter.
In comparison with previous seasons both Scarlets feeder clubs are currently performing exceptionally well and today’s match is likely to be another highly competitive, no holds barred battle between two teams who will be extremely determined to get the victory and the bragging rights that will go with it!
At the halfway mark of the season (bearing in mind this report is being penned on 20th December) the Quins lie in 7th spot (coincidentally also last season’s finishing position) on 28 points and will be desperate to end a 2 match home and 1 match away losing streak in Principality League fixtures. They also returned empty handed from Scotland last Saturday following a last gasp penalty which gave Dundee the spoils in the 4th round of the British & Irish Cup 25 - 23.
The Drovers in comparison lie 3rd on 40 points having occupied the top spot for 11 weeks from 1st September until losing their first match by the odd score at Pandy Park on the 17th November. Title favourites Pontypridd became only the second team to lower the Drovers colours, once again by the odd score in what has been described by many home supporters as one of the best ever games seen at Church Bank.
Over the past two weeks the red and whites have played back to back fixtures against Doncaster Knights in the B & I Cup. The first saw the English Championship full-time professional outfit winning 13-16 at Church Bank, converting a last minute penalty amongst no fewer than 48 penalties that prevailed during the most whistle happy refereeing performance you are ever likely to see - better to take up flower arranging than to endure such an experience again!
In contrast last week’s return at Castle Park was a game full of thrills and excitement and the large Xmas party contingent amongst the 1000+ crowd of home supporters were undoubtedly expecting to complete the double over their semi pro Welsh visitors. Despite losing out in the possession and territory stakes to a very big pack of forwards who tried to strangle and starve their opponents of ball in typical English style, the Drovers however certainly had other ideas!
With the coaches’ stated aim from the outset of playing attacking, running rugby the players duly demonstrated a determination and confidence in putting this plan into action, with the lead changing hands no fewer than eight times before a wonderful passage of play culminated in the winning score. Losing 29-25 and with no time left on the Castle Park scoreboard clock, the Drovers won a lineout in their own 22 and then started a sequence of phases and passing movements between forwards and backs which progressively took them further and further into Knights’ territory. With the movement sweeping from left to right and back again the ball was finally worked to the diminutive yet very powerful centre Jack Roberts who rounded his man to touch down in the corner for a brilliant fourth try and bonus point win, which saw the Drovers open up a 3 point lead at the top of Pool 8! A truly outstanding performance which saw captain Lloyd Phillips beaming with pride and delight with his squad’s commitment and never say die attitude in snatching victory from the very jaws of defeat.
So it is back to league action today and let us hope for another highly entertaining spectacle with the best team winning. As always the referee will have a huge bearing on the game and it is a well known fact that the best games are as a result of good referees who have an empathy for the game, letting it flow, rewarding attack and penalising cynical offenders – the outcome of which being that the man in the middle is therefore hardly ever noticed.
Pob lwc i’r Porthmyn am fuddugoliaeth heddiw a phob lwc hefyd i’r Cwins ar ol heddi am weddill y tymor! Diolchaf i ein prif noddwr heddiw Mr. Brian Jones, Castell Howell sydd wastad yn cefnogi’r gem hon. Thank you to Brian Jones, Castell Howell who once again is our match sponsor for this fixture. Regardless of the result we hope you have a very enjoyable day amongst friends from both ‘camps’ in the Red Room after the game. Thanks also to our match ball sponsor Lyn Davies. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Last week saw our Athletic narrowly lose 6-10 to a very strong Cinderford team in a close run affair, whilst our Youth drew 10-10 away to Llanelli Wanderers having defeated Tumble away 16-6 the previous week. Da iawn yn wir i’r chwaraewyr ac i’r hyfforddwyr!
Finally can I appeal to all those Drovers supporters who have yet to become fully paid up members to please do so without further delay. Your loyal subscriptions are vital to help finance the Club’s existence and it is important to remember, and timely to re-emphasise, that we are a Members Club and it is expected that everyone who attends the Club is a fully paid up Member.
Diolch yn fawr iawn i pawb am eich cefnogaeth at yr achos ac ar rhan Pwyllgor ein Clwb hoffwn ddymuno Blwyddyn Newydd Dda Hapus ac Iachus i chi gyd yn 2013!!!
Er Gwaethaf Pawb a Popeth Ni Yma O Hyd!