2002/2003 WRU National League Division 1
Llandovery 25 v 17 Bonymaen
07 December 2002 - Church Bank, Llandovery

Match Report

Llandovery 25 - 17 Bonymaen

In a classic example of a game of two halves Bonymaen staged a great rally at Church Bank to come from 25-0 to 25-17 before Llandovery hung on in desperation to claim the points.

The Drovers’ coaching pair of Iestyn Thomas and Geraint Williams were at a loss to explain the second half fall from grace of a side that had completely dominated affairs, not only for the whole of the first half but for the first ten minutes of the second as well: “We nearly threw it away,” said the disappointed Thomas. “We failed to put them away early in the second half when first Tal Selley was stopped by a great cover tackle and we were unlucky to see a try by Neil Clapham refused on the late intervention of a touch judge but fair play to Bonymaen for a great comeback.”

Thomas was however far from happy with the lethargy of his pack after the break and the lack of discipline which saw referee Haydn Davies penalise the Drovers heavily in the ruck and tackle area. His one crumb of comfort was to see Llandovery play poorly after the break but still hang on to win and maintain themselves in the runner up spot in Division One. With the possibility of teams being invited next year into a new semi professional league below the proposed four ‘provinces’, the scrappy win could yet be significant.

Bonymaen Coach, Simon Davies must have taken much pleasure at the tremendous driving play of the pack in which lock Lee Robbins, flanker Andy Llewellyn and captain Darren Poland were everywhere in a purple patch of driving forward play.

It was all light years removed from the chaos of the first half when Bonymaen rarely threatened to get into any kind of attacking position. The Llandovery pack were focused and positive in all they did. Lock Arwel Davies won good line out ball, the back row combined well in all areas and there were bullocking and penetrating runs from prop Dorian Williams.

The Drovers scored a fine opening try from a scrum on their own ten metre line. Fly half Gareth Jones put a long cut out pass into the path of on loan Llanelli centre Tal Selley whose speed took him clear of the cover and gave him the chance of putting wing Gary Davies haring over in the corner.

With the home forwards lively and together in the loose and Bonymaen heavily penalised by the referee, Llandovery established a convincing and fully deserved 25-0 half time lead.

With lock Lee Robbins off for ten minutes for killing the ball Llandovery hooker Simon Jenkins ended a lot of pressure on the Bonyman line with a brace of tries and with former Bonymaen fly half Gareth Jones adding two conversions and two penalties Llandovery were in almost complete control.

Early in the second half Bonymaen had a lucky break when a try by full back Neil Clapham was overruled on the intervention of a touch judge and this was followed by a wonderful cover tackle by full back Darril Williams on the flying Selley.

The game suddenly changed when a run by centre Owyn Rowlands split the Llandovery midfield and from the ensuing pressure scrum half Dewi Thomas dummied his way over for a try converted by fly half Colin Jones. It was now the Llandovery forwards who started to give away penalties in the face of some driving play by the Swansea pack in which the big Robbins was continually to the forefront.

Chris Davies was yellow carded for slowing the game down. Stuart Miller got another Bonymaen try, with a third by sub Andy May. With Llandovery increasingly desperate in scrambled defence wing Gary Davies got another yellow card and it was only time and brave defence that was on Llandovery’s side in a rousing last five minutes of Bonymaen pressure.

Team Sheets


Llandovery Bonymaen