1996/1997 SWALEC Cup
Llandovery 19 v 29 SW Police
22 February 1997 - Church Bank, Llandovery
South Wales Police

Match Report

Llandovery 19 – 29 SW Police

What the Papers Say – Huw S Thomas reports:

Whether Llandovery were distracted by midweek events, which saw them ready to ask the WRU for £250,000 compensation if there is no promotion out of Division Two, or were over-confident against a side they had beaten twice this season, the Police thoroughly deserved this cup victory at Church Bank.

The wind played a big part in the outcome of the game, Llandovery using it sparingly in the first half, the Police relying on it sensibly in the second.

Fly-half Justin Price was the star of the show for the winners, his clever running and tactical kicking as well as his goal-kicking proving vital factors in the biggest cup shock of the seventh round. There were also fine displays from locks Steve Rees and Nick Jones, No 8 Ian Hemburrow and centre John Apsee. Rees won the line-out battle with Llandovery’s John Westgarth, Jones was a rallying force in the close fighting, and Hemburrow was as skilful as ever in winning the 50-50 ball as well as pinching possession from the Drovers’ forwards whose ball-retention, usually so sound, was surprisingly poor. Skipper Apsee, too, was a tower of strength in midfield with his strong bursts and firm tackling.

The Police came from 14-5 down to clinch an exciting and deserved win to get into the last eight. Llandovery took the lead after seven minutes when fly-half Gethin Watts set up centre Gareth Davies for a run which ended with wing Arwel Rowlands going over in the corner. Watts converted and Police were ready to run from deep when wing Richard James made a long dash up the left to get his side into a dangerous attacking position. Lock Steve Rees won clean line-out ball, the forwards drove hard to the line and No. 8 Hemburrow got the touch down. Hemburrow put in a storming 30-metre run to feed lock Nick Jones and he was only just stopped from scoring near the home post.

Fine advantage by referee Derek Bevan after a Police offside gave centre Davies a chance to send in full-back Emyr Lewis for another corner try, well converted by Watts.

Llandovery started off the second half with a bang, and a punching run by scrum-half Dan Williams, carried on by hooker John Hughes and prop Simon Emms, got Llandovery into a good attacking position only for fly-half Justin Price to relieve pressure with a fine kick. Price became more and more influential as the game went on and kicked a penalty after 51 minutes to make it 14-8.

Llandovery hit back with a fine try scored by scrum-half Daniel Williams only for the Police to immediately reply with a very well constructed try scored by wing Richard James. Price got another penalty and then James took advantage of a wild pass by wing Rowlands to get a crucial try for the Police under the posts. Price converted, then hit a huge penalty from the half-way line to increase the Police lead to 26-19 and then seal victory with a fine angled dropped goal just one minute from time.

Team Sheets


Llandovery SW Police