Huw S Thomas reports:
The Drovers narrowly failed to reach the semi-finals of the Konica Minolta Cup after going down to fellow Principality Premiership strugglers Cardiff in an error-ridden encounter at the Arms Park.
Llandovery enjoyed territorial advantage but could not finish off numerous chances either with or against the wind but Drovers coach Iestyn Thomas phlegmatically shrugged off the Cup loss. "It would have been great for a small club with limited resources like Llandovery to get to the semis - and if we had taken our chances we would have won. We were crucified by the referee – 14 penalties to five - but even then could have won it in the second half when we had three gilt-edged chances to score."
" Funnily enough, we will take as much out of the game as Cardiff, as most neutrals will agree that the game was there for the taking. In the league, we have three games at home v Swansea, Glamorgan Wanderers and Carmarthen Quins and three away v Bridgend, Ebbw Vale and Llanelli and I guess that we need four wins to make sure of staying up."
"As three of these games are against fellow strugglers in Ebbw Vale, Carmarthen Quins and Glamorgan Wanderers, we know exactly what we have to do."
If commitment was whole hearted on both sides then execution was poor with a catalogue of errors preventing any score for the first 65 minutes.
Despite failing to use the wind to good advantage, Llandovery had much the better of the first half. Props Dennis Pugh and Aled Williams dominated the front row exchanges and back row men Ceri Davies, Jon Mills and Eifion Gwynne often made ground with ball in hand but there was always a knock-on, forward pass, accidental off side or penalty whistled by Mr Mason to destroy prime positions.
Flanker Gareth Gravell was outstanding in the Cardiff pack which came right back into the game in the second half but it was Llandovery that let slip the better chances. They lost their own line out five metres from the Cardiff line, then two slashing breaks, by scrum-half Iwan Mainwaring and by Gwynne, should have produced tries for wing Ifan Evans only for the final pass to be deflected by the last desperate Cardiff coverer.
Fast-improving full-back Howard Thomas threatened with ball in hand but it was the Blue and Blacks who seized the initiative late on.
It took a magnificent tackle by wing Iwan Harries to stop Cardiff wing Jonathan Hill from scoring before fly-half Nick MacLeod, who had missed two penalties, kicked the vital one in the 65th minute. With full-back Leon Andrews kicking long, the game was sealed with four minutes of normal time left. Replacement No 8 James Malpas brilliantly flicked a ball off the back of an attacking scrum to Anderson who cut the line on the blind side before putting wing Elgan Jones over.