Huw S Thomas Reports
Llandovery were good value for their eighth win in 20 league games but had to thank touch judge Jonathan Shepherd for a crucial intervention to claim the three points at a dark and wet Church Bank.
Caerphilly had been outplayed in the second half as the Llandovery forwards, led by skipper and prop Andrew Bryn Jones, dominated in all phases but a last desperate attack saw full back Jonathan Hooper diving over near enough to the posts to make the conversion a mere formality. As centre Stuart Thomas strode forward add the points to draw the game, in came Shepherd to advise that Hooper had lost control in the act of scoring and referee Huw Lewis, to the unbridled joy of the home crowd, over ruled his earlier decision.
A scrum in their favour gave the Drovers the chance to clear and claim the three points that leapfrog them over Caerphilly into ninth place.
A draw would have been harsh on Llandovery as their well drilled pack with all eight players plus replacements Ceri Davies, Matthew Monaghan, Arwel Davies and Andrew Jones controlled things so decisively after the break that it remained a mystery why they had been so sluggish in the first half.
Coach Iestyn Thomas thumped the dressing room table to good effect and it produced a rousing second half performance by the pack and one which puts the Drovers ready to challenge for a top half position with 10 games left, starting with this Saturday’s visit to Bedwas.
Caerphilly had led 10-6 at the interval after captain and fly half Justin Thomas, the former Wales full back, had done the ground work and the finishing for a try converted by Stuart Thomas who also added a penalty.
Young full back Ricky Williams kept Llandovery in touch with two easy penalties, missed a sitter of a kick but then atoned with interest when he saved a certain try with a great cover tackle on centre Roddy Boobyer.
Stuart Thomas stretched the lead to 13-6 but with the Llandovery pack retaining possession with increasing efficiency, tries from flanker Luka Plesko and hooker Hywel James, both converted by Williams put the Drovers well in charge.
Just when it looked as if they would score a third try, away broke Caerphilly to mount a last ditch rally which was only foiled by the eagle eyed and loudly cheered Shepherd.