2010/2011 SWALEC Cup
Llandovery 12 v 18 Aberavon
09 April 2011 - The Park, Carmarthen

Match Report

Llandovery 12 - 18 Aberavon

What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports:

The joy of getting a bonus point in the mid-week game against Tonmawr and ensuring Premiership survival for another year was forgotten on Saturday when the Drovers lost to Aberavon in the semi-final of the Swalec Cup. Llandovery dreams of a return to the Millennium Stadium, where they beat Cardiff in the 2007 final, were shattered at Carmarthen Park where Aberavon won a very tight cup tie.

The Drovers matched the Wizards in tries and conversions but full-back Matthew Jarvis kicked two penalties to make the vital difference between two evenly matched sides.

Llandovery had more than enough possession to win the game but poor tackling on two crucial occasions and an inability to turn constant pressure on the Aberavon line into points cost them dearly.

Llandovery coach and former Aberavon back Lyndon Lewis was as disappointed as his opposite number Simon King was exultant. “With that possession we should have closed out the game but fair play to Aberavon they were defensively immense in the contact area and stopped us getting the momentum we needed. Everyone is bitterly disappointed as the game was there for the taking. I feel we lost it rather than Aberavon won it.”

Aberavon started with a bang when No 8 Nathan Strong burst away from a lineout to run 30 metres through poor tackling for a try converted by full-back Matthew Jarvis.

But a yellow card for prop Neil White let the Drovers back in, full-back Daniel Evans dummying through for a try converted from wide out by fly-half Howard Thomas.

There was little to choose between two cautious sides but a Jarvis penalty and a solo try by wing Chris Lewis, who again exposed fragile tackling, took the Wizards to a 15-7 interval lead. The build up to the Lewis try included what looked a clear forward pass and, with Thomas missing with two difficult penalties, it did not look Llandovery's day.

But it was all change after the break and an excellent build up saw wing Lee Rees squeeze in at the corner from a pass by hooker Emyr Phillips with 20 minutes to go.

The Drovers bashed away at the Aberavon line, a series of scrums and lineouts stretching the Aberavon defence to the full. But there was a worrying inflexibility in the one-dimensional Llandovery attacking. An insistence on keeping the game tight, and a sad lack of wit and invention to deceive a wonderfully brave defence, proved costly and denied the Drovers a second Millennium Stadium final.

Official : Tim Hayes (Wales)

Team Sheets


Llandovery Aberavon