Cross Keys
1998/1999 WRU National League Division 1
Cross Keys 29 v 17 Llandovery
05 September 1998 - Pandy Park, Cross Keys

Match Report

Cross Keys 29 – 17 Llandovery

What the Papers Say – Huw George reports

With Keys having completed the double over Llandovery last season, the Drovers started the game in determined mood and took the lead after only 10 minutes play when centre Emrys Evans burst through to score the opening try.

With the visitors' pack dominating the forward exchanges, and with the returning John Westgarth prominent, further pressure resulted in a Matthew Monaghan try following a fine passage of play when ball was repeatedly recycled to create an easy overlap. Aled Williams converted, Cross Keys' only riposte in the first half being an Ioan Bebb penalty, to make the half-time score 12-3 to Llandovery.

Immediately from the restart it became obvious that the home forwards were intent on increasing the tempo of the game. With their mobile forwards driving through the middle and displaying excellent ball retention, No. 8 Paul Watkin crossed to pull back the deficit.

Minutes later, the pattern was repeated and, having bombarded the Drovers' defence, a scissors in midfield saw full back Chad Bushell enter the line at pace to cross beneath the posts. Bebb converted to put Keys into the lead for the first time.

Llandovery appeared to be recovering from the opening 20 minute onslaught and, with scrum half Jamie Roberts releasing his backline at every opportunity, it appeared as if it was only a matter of time before a score would be created. Unfortunately for Llandovery the decision-making of the ball carrier was on too many occasions incorrect. Wrong options were taken at crucial moments, coupled with the failure to retain hard won possession, and the numerous unforced errors that crept into their game meant that this was turning into a frustrating day for the faithful band of travelling supporters.

Debutant fly half Gafyn Cooper then dummied clear from half way to put centre David Harris over for a third Keys try, duly converted by Bebb.

Winger Mark Jones then squeezed in at the corner to bring the Drovers back into contention, in the knowledge that a bonus point may at least have been salvaged. However it was not to be, as it was the home team who again proved to be the hungrier on the day, and victory was assured two minutes from time via a Darren Crimmins corner try excellently converted by Ioan Bebb.

Team Sheets


Cross Keys Llandovery