Huw S Thomas reports:
Aberavon kept firmly in second spot in the Premiership with this hard fought win over a Llandovery side desperately searching for confidence and self belief.
Not even the presence up front of the 27 times capped Scarlets back row Dafydd Jones could arrest the Llandovery slide. Jones, keen to get some games under his belt in his search for a return to full fitness, played well enough for 58 minutes but was yellow carded by referee Connett for slowing ball down at a ruck.
Llandovery then conceded ten points in the ten minutes that they were down to 14 men and the game slipped away from them as Aberavon finished by far the stronger.
It was Aberavon’s ninth win in ten games in stark contrast to the Drovers' unenviable record of nine defeats in ten games.
After exactly one third of the 30 match league programme completed, the Wizards are brimming with confidence after a marvellous start to the season. They ride high in second place in the table but the poor Drovers are rooted to the bottom on a paltry three points.
Director of Coaching Jeremy Evans did at least have some good news shortly before the kick off. It was that the WRU had refused to back the demand by Maesteg that the Drovers be docked three points for fielding ineligible players in the opening game of the season against the Old Parish.
But on the pitch, it was the story of the season so far. “We got ourselves into a position to win the game once again, leading 6-3 at half time but then a yellow card for Dafydd Jones upset our rhythm. We conceded a penalty, a try and conversion when Dafydd was off and although we came back to 13-9 we then were hit by a brilliant counter attacking try by the Wizards.”
The home forwards, under lock Arwel Davies, shaded the battle for possession in the first half to allow fly half Gareth Morgan to kick two penalties to the one by opposite number Jamie Davies. They still enjoyed a slight edge with threequarters of the game gone but with the Aberavon pack gaining in power the dismissal of Jones was too big a handicap to overcome.
Davies tied the scores with a penalty and as No 8 Richard Morris consistently took the Wizards over the gain line, Llandovery faded, even their usually sound scrummaging now under pressure from the Wizards eight.
Davies got a solo try and conversion and although Morgan raised hopes with his third penalty, a stunning try by flanker Simon Peters, converted by Davies took Aberavon clear.
The fly half added a penalty in injury time to rack up 18 points in a confident display and consign the Drovers to yet another defeat.