What the Papers Say – Huw S Thomas reports:
All good things come to an end and so it was at Pandy Park where Llandovery lost their first game of the season to a determined and well organised Cross Keys.
The Drovers had won six and drawn two league games but, despite outscoring Cross Keys two tries to one, they had to be satisfied with just one losing bonus point against the hard tackling Men of Gwent. Bedwas who beat Cardiff 29-20 have now moved level with the Drovers on 35 points but by dint of winning seven games to Llandovery’s six are now top of the Premiership.
“We always have a very hot reception at Pandy Park and have only won a handful of times over the years,” said Llandovery chairman Handel Davies. “In such a competitive league it was only a matter of time before we got beaten but the boys can still be proud of going two and a half months without defeat.”
“We had plenty of good field position but did not hold on to the ball long enough to get tries and we also missed 11 points from the boot.”
“We have two very difficult home games now under lights against Cardiff this Friday and defending champions Pontypridd the following Friday and the pressure will be very much on us to return to winning ways.”
Llandovery trailed 9-8 at half time, Dragons fly half Steffan Jones having kicked three penalties to trump a try from wing Sam Soul and penalty by fly half James Garland. The try was made by Llandovery’s North Walian centre Jack Roberts who made a fine break before putting Soul over.
Play was even in the tight but the Keys forwards had a clear edge at the breakdown where skipper Rob Nash continually thwarted the Drovers and the home side took a 22-8 lead. Two more penalties from the flawless boot of Jones and a try for galloping lock Tom Lampard from a clever chip ahead by fullback Gareth David put the home side two converted tries clear.
But with Roberts always a danger, Llandovery stayed in contention with a second try from the dangerous Soul, converted by replacement fly half Cerith Rees who was then refused a penalty that looked to have gone over.
Back and forth went the play with both sides near to scoring before Llandovery had to be satisfied with just the one point.