What The Papers Say
Huw S Thomas reports:
The Drovers were sent tumbling out of the Swalec Cup when Division One West side Tonmawr provided the shock of the day with their narrow win over the Premiership club.
Dominant in the first half when they scored three converted tries but under the cosh in the second, the village side hung on by their fingernails to become the only non-Premiership side to reach the quarter-finals.
The game was effectively won in a purple opening patch when Tonmawr scored three converted tries and a penalty against a penalty to lead 24-3 after 24 minutes. The forwards were hungrier and sharper with Nigerian Irish flanker Ejike Ozoigwe, lock Andrew Gwynne and evergreen No 8 Karl Hocking outstanding. Skipper James Donovan and the much-travelled Luke Richards kept their side going forward and the decisive lead was no more than the home side deserved.
A Richards cross kick made the first try for Hocking, a turnover got full-back Warren Davies sprinting over before wing Elliot Frewen took advantage of an awful blunder by wing Lee Rees to snatch a third. With Richards adding three conversions and a penalty to two penalties from opposite number Cerith Rees it was 24-6 at the break. It should have been closer but two strange decisions to run penalties in front of the Tonmawr posts cost the Drovers six easy points.
Stung into action, Llandovery rallied well after the break and replacement Matthew Jacobs and makeshift wing Gareth James ran brilliantly to get converted tries. With Rees adding a penalty to make it 24-23 with 18 minutes left, the money was on an away win.
Prop Rhodri Jones and Lee Rees - now at full back - were outstanding but the Drovers let Tonmawr off the hook when replacement Matthew Harbut retaliated under the nose of referee Huw David to allow Richards to kick a very good goal. Both wing Joe Ajuwa and flanker Nio Aiono failed to hold passes that could have won the game for Llandovery before a poor decision proved crucial.
With four minutes of normal time remaining and trailing 27-23, Llandovery were awarded a penalty close to the Tonmawr line. The home eight looked out on its legs but Rees was called on to kick a goal when it cried out for Llandovery to keep the pressure on the beleaguered defence and go for the jugular through a scrum or line out five metres out. Rees got the penalty to bring his side to within a point again but there was just enough left in the Tonmawr locker to hang on desperately and clinch a place in the last eight.
Llandovery ratings: H Thomas 5 (M Jacobs 7/R Walters 6); J Ajuwa 5, D Rogers 5, R Williams 6, L Rees 7; C Rees 6, G James 7; R Jones 7, A Yelland (capt) 6 (G George 6), P Edwards 6, R Gierat 5, S Martin 5 (L Tonkin 4 and E Siggery 5), N Aiono 6, D Fitzgerald 6 (M Harbut 3), L Phillips 6