Llandovery beat their old West Wales rivals by a decisive five tries to nil and with a bit more steadiness could have scored two or three more tries. Dunvant had little to offer and were outplayed in every phase other than the line-out, where locks Mike Davies and Mark Glover and No 8 Phil Middleton did manage to secure ball as well as deny Llandovery possession.
The Drovers had an outstanding pair of flankers in ex-Dunvant player Ceri Davies and Gareth Thomas and their tidying up of the loose ball, support play and tackling was the feature of the night. Alongside them for the honour of top performer of the night was scrum-half Rob Walters, whose quickness of thought and deed provided his backs with space and time to create openings.
Walters made the opening try with a quick tap penalty and pass to wing Gary Davies, another Drover who was in top form, and although Dunvant competed hard up front they were powerless to stop Thomas and Gary Davies combining to send Ceri Davies over before half time. Full-back Stuart Harries converted both and soon after half-time added the conversion to a try by the ever-present Thomas after veteran lock Dai Giles had been held up short of the line.
Dunvant tired and the penalty by Harries plus a brace of well-worked and supported tries by hooker Andrew Jones and centre Herman Bosman gave the Drovers the clear-cut victory they undoubtedly deserved.
Llandovery beat their old rivals from West Wales League days with considerable ease and rammed home the fact that the Swansea club faces a long hard winter in an effort to survive relegation. Both coaches, Iestyn Thomas and Brian Powell, have successfully coached Carmarthen Athletic in recent years but it was Thomas who had the smile on his face last Friday night after seeing his Drovers pull clear in the second half under the Church Bank lights.
If it had not been for superior Dunvant lineout work the Drovers would have certainly run up a half century of points and the only reason that the score was a mere 14-0 to Llandovery at the break was almost uniquely down to the work of locks Mike Davies and Mark Glover and No 8 Phil Middleton.
Llandovery were sharper and more robust in every other phase of play and had in former Dunvant flanker Ceri Davies the most influential player of the night. Given the Llandovery captaincy for the first time in the absence of injured prop Andrew Bryn Jones, Davies produced by far and away his best performance of the season. His knack of tidying up scrappy ball and anticipating the flow of the game underlined the class that had seen him valued at both Llanelli and Bridgend. At 28 he has given up any ambition of Welsh Scottish competition but for Division One he is a considerable talent and hugely enjoying life with the Drovers, alongside brothers and fellow forwards Iwan and Aled Davies.
Not that his was the only performance of note for the Drovers. Scrum half Rob Walters was as busy as a bee in covering acres of ground in attack and defence, wing Gary Davies ran brilliantly out of defence on a number of occasions and on loan Neath prop Paul Jones charged about in sprightly fashion in the loose.
Dunvant had little to offer other than a willingness to try to play football but they neither had the power in the loose nor the guile behind to make a real fist of it. Scrum half replacement Gary Jones tried manfully to inject some urgency into the play but his earnest passing and probing produced little, such was the sound defence of the home side.
Gary Davies and Ceri Davies finished off outflanking moves to get the Llandovery first half tries, converted by last year’s Dunvant full back Stuart Harries, and after the break it was only a question of how many points Llandovery could rattle up against opponents whom they have, in the past, found difficult to beat.
Flanker Gareth Thomas, ex Seven Sisters hooker Andrew R Jones and South African Herman Bosman all crossed, with the last try coming at the end of a tremendous counter attack inspired by Gary Davies and Paul Jones. Harries kicked four out of five conversions and then a penalty goal as the Drovers won in a canter to record their biggest win over Dunvant for many a year.