What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports:
Llandovery surrendered a seemingly comfortable 16-5 lead to go down to defeat through a last gasp penalty from Bedwas fly-half Richard Powell.
With just a quarter of an hour to go, Bedwas were 11 points adrift after being outplayed by the Drovers. In a game continually punctuated by the crowd’s encouragement for the referee to send off any tackler, the West Walians had got a try from their excellent ex-Ammanford flanker Shaun Miles, two penalties from fly-half James Garland and a penalty and conversion from his replacement Cerith Rees against a try from full-back Stuart Thomas.
Despite a yellow card for lock Shaun Jones for a dangerous tackle at the line out the lead should have been more but poor options in the danger zone had left Bedwas off the hook.
Strong at the scrum, efficient at the lineout and with the lion's share of possession in the loose, where Miles was a bundle of energy, the Drovers proceeded to waste some golden chances and fail to stretch the lead. In particular a decision to run the ball from the Bedwas 22 rather than slot an easy penalty, and full-back Mike Sauro's failure to send his wing Sam Soul in at a simple two against one, was to ultimately prove expensive.
“We were fools to ourselves,” said Llandovery coach Lyndon Lewis, “and let them get out of jail after dominating play. If we have any aspirations to finish in the top half of the table and eye a British/Irish Cup place we have to come to places like Bedwas and win. Our tackling to let in one try was woesome and that was so disappointing after seeing our defence improve such a lot this year.”
After playing second fiddle for the first 65 minutes, the home side suddenly seized the initiative in decisive fashion. Their forwards raised the tempo of the game with No 8 Deri Mattravers carrying the ball strongly into the heart of the Llandovery defence, and two converted tries inside three minutes had Bedwas 19-16 up. Tries from wing Roger McBurney and Mattravers – after a sizzling Thomas run – turned the game on its head.
“Once our forwards concentrated in keeping it close and driving at the Llandovery fringe defence, I knew that we were good enough to win,” smiled Bedwas coach Steve Law.
Llandovery Man of the Match: Shaun Miles