Llandovery’s reward for reaching the second round of the Schweppes Cup for the first time is a plum home draw against Pontypridd.
It will be a doubly special occasion for coach John Watkins, a veteran of over 400 games at hooker Pontypridd, whose expert tuition of Llandovery’s forwards has been singled out as the reason for their revival this season. "We have always been feared for our back play but now, thanks to John Watkins, we have finally got our pack sorted out,” said club secretary Mr Roland Griffiths.
The incentive to play well against a first class side in the cup is always enough to bring the best out of a junior club - it is even greater when the side they are to play struggled to beat one of the minnows in the previous round as Pontv did against Senghennydd last Saturday.
While Pontypridd finally emerged winners by 10 points to three in a game which had Pandy Park quaking in fear of a major upset, Llandovery were coasting into the second round with a powerful second half display against Kenfig Hill.
“We were delighted with Saturday’s performance and are confident that we can give Pontypridd a good game, perhaps even produce a shock. The only other first class side we have drawn in the cup was Maesteg who beat us 11-nil in terrible conditions. We will be hoping for better luck on our first visit to the second round," said Mr Griffiths.
Saturday's game began with a flurry of skirmishes which required the referee's intervention. He didn’t get to grips with the situation and the niggle continued throughout the game resulting in a Kenfig hill second row being sent off ten minutes from the end.
Kenfig took the lead with a penalty for shoving in a lineout. Andrew Burnell kicked the goal. Llandovery struck back when, from a tapped penalty, Carwyn Williams dropped a neat goal.
Then came a crucial score. Kenfig were attacking and seemed to have an overlap but a delayed pass allowed left wing Dewi Evans to intercept and race 70 metres to score near the posts. Carwyn Williams converted.
Kenfig Hill had the territorial advantage in the first half hour, so when Dai Wigley picked up from a scrum five and was driven over by the Llandovery pack the visitors’ fate seemed sealed if the home forwards could settle their game.
They certainly put their play together in the second period. It was only desperate defence by Kenfig that kept the score down. Firstly Carwyn Williams kicked a penalty, then Wyn Williams was driven over the visitors’ line by the now rampant Llandovery pack.
Prop Eifion Evans was next to barge over after more good work by the excellent Elfyn Jenkins. Carwyn Williams converted both.
Finally, with Kenfig Hill trying to run everything, centre Alun Thomas intercepted and raced 45 metres to crown a fine all-round team performance with a try.