On a fine but blustery Easter Saturday, Llandovery took on lowly placed Bonymaen in what was seen as a potentially tricky ‘banana skin’ fixture. Indeed, the relegation battlers looked dangerous from the off and were soon 3-0 up via a Jason Davies penalty. They also cut the home defence open on several occasions and at least three first half opportunities went begging due to sloppy finishing.
By contrast, the Drovers were clinical in their finishing. Each time they entered their opponents’ 22, they came away with points on the board. Firstly, through two Stuart Harries penalties and then, following a tremendous run from open side flanker Wil Price, and good support play from wing Jamie Roberts, it was blind side Ceri Davies who powered to the line, carrying two would-be tacklers on each shoulder. Harries made the score 13-3 with the conversion.
Bonymaen turned the score around, 13-10 at half-time and, facing a stiff breeze, the visitors were kept penned in their own half for the most of the third quarter.
An attacking scrum five metres out to the right hand corner of the field saw the ball spread quickly to the outside backs, resulting in centre Tracy Lewis crashing through a futile defence like a wild stallion to score under the posts, making Harries’s conversion a formality. Scrum half Rob Walters was the next home try scorer. Following up a deep Neil Clapham kick, Walters dribbled the ball forward and seized a loose back pass from the visiting full back to dive over for an opportunistic score. The ever reliable Stuart Harries converted magnificently from near the touchline and maintained his 100 per cent record by slotting over three more penalties to extend the home advantage to 30-10.
Credit to Bonymaen, their enterprising approach to the game resulting in non-stop stop action during the final quarter. Their counter attacking style of running out of defence proved fruitful on two occasions, firstly flanker Andy Llewelyn raced in from 50 metres and then replacement fly half Danny Jones scored a late consolation try. Sandwiched in between, Welsh current top points scorer Stuart Harries increased his season’s tally to 330 points with a fourth penalty.
This proved a mountain too steep for the ‘Jacks’ to climb and the final whistle blew for what was a thoroughly deserved victory for the Drovers, whose next challenge comes on Friday. April 13, 2002 (kick off 7.30pm) when they take on Pontypool at Church Bank.