Tredegar captain Jared Nolan will not remember his 50th appearance for the club with any great pleasure after they threw away a 14-3 final-quarter lead for Llandovery to claim their first win at the Recreation Ground. Winning the toss in rugby is often as important as in cricket on grounds where slopes exist. When a bitterly cold wind blows in the same direction the advantage becomes doubly important, so Llandovery’s decision to give Tredegar first use of the elements was ultimately proved correct.
Tredegar may have gone into their match with a measure of complacency after running league leaders Cross Keys so close at Pandy Park last week. But they were without fly-half Luke Richards - a big influence in their last five games - and the debut of Julian Vernall, signed from Abertillery, was not entirely a happy one. It was his poor clearance kick that gave Llandovery left wing Mark Jones the time and space to get into top gear. He raced 40 metres for the 60th-minute try which, when converted by Peter Lloyd, reduced their deficit to four points and drained Tredegar’s confidence.
The visitors, with centre Dave Kings always prominent, posed continual threats and when Lloyd kicked his second penalty the writing was on the wall for Tredegar. Their pack was found wanting in the scrums and a 73rd-minute penalty try converted by Lloyd settled the issue, despite a late siege by Tredegar.