The Drovers are keeping up the pressure at the top of the First Division following their hard fought victory over a gritty but one dimensional Narberth under the Church Bank lights. The win takes Llandovery up to 48 points from 23 games, level in third place with Newbridge and Carmarthen Quins whose game at Aberavon had been postponed, but the home supporters were far from impressed by the lacklustre win.
Not so Drovers captain, Andrew Bryn Jones however, who was delighted at the tough challenge offered by the Otters pack. “We have not played for five weeks and the Narberth pack gave us a hard time of it both in the set pieces and the loose:’ said the Llandovery tight head prop. “It is just what we needed to shake us out of our lethargy as we start the last third of our season and we are still looking to finish in the top three:’
Narberth, too, were far from despondent at the result with their best player scrum half Chris McDonald mindful of the 32-12 defeat that the Otters had suffered at home to Llandovery before Christmas. “We kept them to one try which shows how our defence has tightened up since that home defeat and we can now go on to finish the season with a good run and get into the top ten,” said McDonald.
The two packs were better at disruption than construction, and the same that could be said for the respective backs who generally lacked craft and punch. There were some notable exceptions with Llandovery scrum half Rob Walters and newly transferred Llandeilo centre Rhodri Davies fleetingly dangerous in the first half and McDonald giving his usual 100 per cent effort. Walters, with a charge down of a kick by fly half Gareth James, and McDonald with a blind side burst from a scrum, were the try scorers in the opening quarter but after that neither side could put enough continuity into crossing the try line.
Luckily for Llandovery, full back Gareth Jones was in top goal kicking form in a faultless display of goal kicking. The ex-Bonymaen pivot put over three penalties in the first half and three penalties in the second half as well as a conversion to finish with a personal tally of 20 points.
When the Drovers led 16-7 at half time, the faithful in the sparse crowd expected them to pull clear but with McDonald disrupting and harassing all over the park and the Narberth forwards with Andrew Howells, Matthew Evans and Simon Delaney getting stuck in to anything that moved, Llandovery had a real fight on their hands. But battle away they did, with Jamie Cudmore, the props Dorian Williams and Andrew Jones and lock Arwel Davies making telling contributions in upping the pace as the game drew to a close. The boot of Jones did the rest, his final two penalties coming in the last 10 minutes to seal a comfortable, albeit undistinguished victory.