Llandovery scored three tries for a deserved victory against hardworking Bedwas. The visitors had too much pace for their opponents last night, although they made the most of some silly errors by Dewi Mattravers and his team.
To be fair, Bedwas also had a terrible evening in terms of injuries, losing three players during the game, including their star outside half Paul Williams. Just to add to their tale of woe, they then had their big lock Nathan Jones sent off in the 57th minute after a punch-up near the halfway line.
Llandovery showed that they are going to be a major force again in the First Division with some bright, enterprising attacks from the kickoff and they led 13-9 at the interval thanks to tries by their lock Lyndon Bateman and scrum-half Jamie Roberts.
Bedwas, who pulled off a fine victory at Newbridge last Saturday, must have been wondering why their luck had run out in an eventful first half. They lost the services of wing Paul Phillips (head cut), hooker Dean Colclough (leg) and Williams (dislocated elbow) in what turned out to be an injury-hit encounter. To make matters worse, replacement hooker Lee Pierce was sinbinned - a similar punishment to that handed out to the visitors' lock Jamie Cudmore.
In a disappointing match all of Bedwas's points came from four penalties by full- back Andrew James. Llandovery's other points scorer was full-back Herman Bosman, who kicked two penalties and a conversion.
A second version of this report:
The Drovers opened the game at the Bridge Field in a lively manner and within minutes of the kick off took the lead when lock Lyndon Bateman finished off some good work by the pack. But the attempted conversion by Ben Matthews failed and the winger went on to miss another three simple penalties within the first quarter of the game.
This inability by the Drovers to add to their score seemed to give encouragement to the home side and they began to come back into the match using the simple plan of kicking deep into Llandovery territory and using their pack for driving mauls. As a result of these efforts Andrew James was able to convert two penalties to give Bedwas the lead for a short time.
Llandovery, using completely different tactics, tried to open play up from every piece of possession even trying to run the ball out of their own 22. Eventually they re-took the lead when lively scrum half Jamie Roberts crossed for a try but although changing their kicker the conversion failed.
Just before half-time though they were successful when full back Herman Bosman kicked a penalty to take the half-time score to 9-13 in favour of the Drovers.
Early in the second half Bosman kicked a second penalty and then Bedwas had lock Nathan Jones sent off for punching. This loss appeared to inspire the home side as the remaining seven forwards redoubled their efforts and with two further penalties from Andrew James bringing the score to 12-16 the game was set for a dramatic last 10 minutes.
However a change in tactics saw the Drovers kick a long ball deep into the Bedwas half and following up quickly, forced the home side to find touch close to their try line. Winning their own ball the forwards drove for the line and replacement hooker Simon Jenkins claimed the try. Bosman converted to finish off any hopes Bedwas may have had of claiming a late victory.