John Kendrick reports:
After the euphoria of winning in Aberavon on the opening day of the season the Drovers' first home game at Church Bank was a very different affair as they crashed to a far superior Bedwas side who ran in 5 tries to nil against a very lack lustre Drovers.
In a scrappy stop, start game punctuated by errors what little constructive open play there was to be seen came from the visitors. An unsympathetic referee with little empathy with the players added to the lack of continuity and the home side in particular incurred the wrath of Mr Davies.
The Porth official penalised them twenty times, frequently marched them 10 metres and issued two first half yellow cards to hooker Hywel James and flanker Luka Plesko. However, by not learning to keep quiet, the Llandovery players added to their own downfall. They need to realise officials do not change their decisions even when they appear to be incorrect.
Whilst the tight scrums were evenly contested it was a very different story in the lines out where Bedwas stole over half of the home sides throws. In the loose the visitors showed much more drive and aggression, out-rucking and mauling the home eight.
With the limited possession they had the Drovers found breaking the gain line, other than by kicking for territory, very difficult and the few attacks mounted tended to move sideways. Even the kicking game had limitations and was often ill directed, offering Bedwas further counter attacking options.
Playing with a strong wind in the first half the writing was on the wall for the Drovers when Bedwas scored the opening try by Rob Phillips after 8 minutes. The scrum half later got a second, both converted by Andrew James, who also kicked a penalty. The home team’s reply of a dropped goal and two penalties left the visitors with a deserved half time lead of 17 points to 9.
In the second half against the wind there was some improvement from the home pack but it was to prove an impossible task as further tries from Andrew Harrison and Steve Gardner put the game beyond reach and the only reply was a third Gareth Morgan penalty.
The final act of the game came in bizarre fashion after Llandovery centre Emrys Evans minored a loose ball in the in-goal area. Bedwas outside half Andrew James optimistically following up dived onto the ball for the referee to award a fifth ‘try’. James converted and along with 2 other second half penalties and a conversion reached a personal points tally of 22 points.