Report by Martin Thomas, courtesy of the Zebras' website
An outstanding display from captain Gavin Owen set up Treorchy for their second consecutive win at Church Bank, thus ending their recent dismal run of three consecutive defeats. The Number 8 was everywhere, both in attack and defence and even survived having his head stamped on unceremoniously in the second-half by Llandovery's replacement prop! Owen inspired his side to their ninth win of the season and flankers Dai Williams and Shane Evans were not far behind their skipper in a dynamic back-row performance.
Treorchy were territorially dominant for much of the first half but once again they were unable to turn pressure into points. Jason Riggs did cross after ten minutes but Paul Jones had knocked-on after chasing a high up-and-under. It seemed that the Zebras were determined to make use of their wingers after the disappointments of the last three weeks and Sam Greenaway was almost clear after a quarter of an hour. Shortly afterwards the referee pulled up with a pulled calf muscle and was replaced by one of his touch-judges.
Llandovery enjoyed a ten minute period in Treorchy's 22, but the Zebra defence stood firm with some excellent tackling from forwards and backs. Treorchy were awarded a penalty near the ten-metre line after thirty-three minutes but Matthew Silva's kick landed on the bar and bounced back into play for Llandovery to clear. It seemed that the first period was going to end scoreless but two minutes before the break, Shane Evans popped up in the centre and broke clear, his extra weight shrugging off the would-be tacklers. He was eventually caught just short of the line but his momentum took him over near the posts to enable him to score his first try for the Zebras. Matthew Silva converted. Half-time - Llandovery 0 Treorchy 7
Treorchy should have moved further into the lead just after half-time but Silva mis-kicked from in front of the posts on the twenty-two much to the dismay of the travelling supporters, but Llandovery also missed an easy penalty shortly afterwards to even things up. Treorchy had started the second half in determined style and a good break from lively scrum-half Dai Cambourne almost put them further ahead. From the resulting scrum 10 metres out, Llandovery were pushed back and the lack of control in the back-row enabled Cambourne to pounce for his fourth try of the season which Silva converted.
The fourteen point to nil lead was thoroughly deserved but shortly afterwards Llandovery replied with an untidy try in the corner following a maul when Adrian Davies emerged with the ball having managed to touch down. An excellent touchline conversion put Llandovery right back in the match. Silva managed a penalty when Llandovery's backs were penalised for offside to relieve the anxiety slightly but with ten minutes to go Llandovery again pushed over in the corner from a maul with a try credited to someone at the bottom of a massive pile of bodies!
Stung into retaliation, Treorchy brought on Richard Langmead at outside-half with Silva moving to fullback in place of Richard Davies. Langmead soon set his backs in motion and Jason Riggs was released on the right wing. The winger did what he has so often done before, and with a burst of acceleration left the defence in his wake to cross wide out, and had the presence of mind to touch down under the posts with three minutes left. Matthew Silva again converted and the relief on the terraces was tangible as there was no way back for the Drovers.
It was a good win for the Zebras, especially as Llandovery had won at Bonymaen last weekend. The confidence gained should now put them in good heart for the two home games to come against Rumney and Abertillery. The journey home seemed a lot shorter than it might have been for the faithful supporters who cheered their side on to victory.