1978/1979 Schweppes Cup
Llandovery 0 v 11 Maesteg
18 November 1978

Match Report

Llandovery 0 - 11 Maesteg

There are 2 reports for this game

What the Papers Say - Eifion Morgan reports

Although Goliath didn't fall, and despite that margin of 11 points, Llandovery did the Davids proud in this Schweppes cup-tie against the holders of the merit table trophy.

For much of the game, which was played in atrocious conditions, they matched their illustrious opponents in the set pieces and in the loose. And especially in the first half, they deserved to have some points on the board.

Not at any stage were they over-awed by the fact that Maesteg fielded no fewer than eight County players and had scored 83 tries to date.

In the opening exchanges, however, the Llynfi Valley side threatened to add to their tally as they pounded forward for the vital first score. But it was in this first anxious quarter that the Dyfed side's character was seen at its best.

Time and time again the tireless back row of Alan Walters, Nigel Clarke and Howard Ingram were on hand to stem raid after raid, and all of Maesteg's most threatening moves were stifled by the tenacious tackling of centres Huw Lewis and Geraint Williams. And behind them, full back Tony Williams was a pillar of strength.

Having held out for 20 minutes, Llandovery took over for the remainder of the first half and were unlucky not to score just before the interval. This attack was initiated by scrum half Handel Davies with an excellent kick deep into Maesteg territory. Llandovery won the line-out, but when the threes appeared to have the overlap the ball was hoisted to visiting full-back Ian Hopkins who was caught in possession. It was at this point that misfortune took a hand - Llandovery were penalised at the maul and the opportunity wais lost.

The first quarter of the second half was to prove the most decisive of the match as Maesteg stormed again into the attack. Within three minutes they were ahead through an easy penalty goal by Hopkins, and although Llandovery made some inroads into their territory, they stretched their lead with a try made by menacing wing Colin Donovan, for centre Robert Stephens.

And within minutes Llandovery were further behind when Hopkins flashed in between his centres and over their line.

From there on Maesteg threatened to take complete control and it is to Llandovery’s credit that they did not depart with the expected avalanche of tries. It was indeed a proud day for the ancient borough.

2nd report

For much of this game played under atrocious conditions Llandovery matched their opponents in all phases and were drawing 0-0 at half time. Maesteg, who included seven County players as well as Welsh B centre Phil Phillips in their line-up, boasted an eighty three try record this season and were unfortunate to lose their last game against Cardiff at the Arms Park in injury time.

From the kick-off Maesteg applied considerable pressure and using their half-backs and back row pinned Llandovery in their own half. Nevertheless the Llandovery back row of Alan Walters, Nigel Clarke and Howard Ingram matched their opponents, and though getting a good supply of ball Maesteg were unable to set up scoring opportunities. When Maesteg did let the ball out wing Colin Donovan looked menacing and Phil Phillips playing his first game after injury ran strongly.

Huw Lewis and Geraint Williams, the home centres, defended admirably and Tony Williams at full back took the high kicks exceptionally well considering the weather conditions.

Having held their opponents for twenty minutes Llandovery had the better of the rest of the first half. Indeed on a couple of occasions they could have scored. Ian Hopkins was under severe pressure during this phase of the game but responded well.

Llandovery had their best opportunity to take the lead just before half-time. Handel Davies drove Maesteg back into their own '22' area with a fine kick. From the lineout Llandovery pushed forward and the three-quarters appeared to have an overlap but the ball was hoisted to the Maesteg full back. Hopkins caught cleanly but was tackled in possession. An infringement at the ensuing maul allowed Maesteg to clear their line and the teams changed over without scoring.

The first quarter of an hour of the second half proved decisive. From the restart Maesteg stormed into the attack and only desperate tackling kept them out. However within three minutes they went ahead when Ian Hopkins kicked a simple penalty following a scrum infringement.

Though Llandovery forced play into Maesteg territory occasionally the majority of their time was taken up with defensive play, and from an attacking move Maesteg went further ahead. Donovan moved sharply down the right hand side and made the ball available to centre Robert Stephens who scored far out. Within minutes the visitors went further ahead when Ian Hopkins ran into the line and scored. Neither conversion was successful.

Although Maesteg were now threatening to take complete control it was to Llandovery's credit that they prevented this and indeed Maesteg were unable to improve on their score.

Though losing this game Llandovery had given a superb performance in front of a sizeable crowd which included Mr. Bill Clements and Mr. Ken Harris (treasurer) of the Welsh Rugby Union.

The Maesteg forwards, particularly in loose play, gave their half backs a supply of good ball which enabled them to dictate play but Llandovery will remember this game with pride and satisfaction.


Team Sheets


Llandovery Maesteg