John Kendrick reports:
“One of the worst games of rugby I’ve seen at Church Bank” was how departing Coach Iestyn Thomas described this messy, uninspired end of season game at a breezy, wet Church Bank.
With Llanharan already relegated after one season in the Premiership and the Drovers safe there was little for either side to play for, although coach Thomas would have hoped for a better send off for his last game in charge.
The one shining light on the gloomy evening was the performance of Loughborough College student Rhodri Gomer-Davies. The former Llandovery College and Wales U21 centre, playing out of position at outside half, contributed 16 points to the Drovers' score with two tries and three conversions.
Llanharan, arriving late causing a delay in kick off time, had a totally limited approach to the game relying on forward charges or booting the ball downfield.
The Drovers, attempting to play open, champagne style rugby made so many handling errors and had the ball turned over frequently that they also failed to develop any cohesive pattern to their play.
With the referee not controlling the often illegal spoiling tactics of the visitors there was very little to warm the spectators on the cold evening. Frequent penalties, 10m added for back chat all failed to bring the yellow card out from Mr Griffiths's pocket, and his most welcome action was to blow the final whistle.
The scoring was opened with an exchange of penalties for each side, Ioan Davies for the Drovers and Gareth Howe for Llanharan. This was followed by an exchange of tries by the second rows, Dafydd Jones for the home side and Fatika Molitika for the visitors. Both tries were converted, by Gareth Howe and Rhodri Gomer-Davies.
The Drovers' outside half then produced the moment of the match with a thrilling individual try when he weaved his way through the Llanharan defence to touch down near the posts. He converted his own try to bring the score to 17-10 in favour of the Drovers at half time.
The lead was further opened up early in the second half when Gomer-Davies ran in for a second try, which he again converted.
The game now lost even more shape as both sides used all their subs and little of any constructive rugby was seen. A late penalty try for Llanharan converted by Howe and a penalty for the Drovers kicked by Barrie Thomas did little to enliven the gloom as the referee thankfully brought the match to its final conclusion.