With their third successive bonus point win in seven days, Llandovery finished their regular season in great style to qualify for the Championship play offs.
After full house victories over Neath (33-7) and then Aberavon (41-3) in mid week, the six tries to five win over Bedwas catapulted the Drovers up into second place in the Premiership. They finished six points clear of third placed Llanelli and will meet their fellow Scarlets at Church Bank on May 11.
The two points that eventually separated the two sides came when the scores were tied at 41-41. Fly half James Garland kicked the conversion of Chris Knight’s try with the help of the upright to dash Bedwas hopes of the draw that would have taken them - and not Llanelli - to Church Bank in the play offs.
The winners of the all Scarlets clash between Llandovery and Llanelli on May 11 will travel to challenge leaders Pontypridd in the Championship final a week later.
In their 13th win in the 22 match campaign, the Drovers played some scintillating rugby with the back division spearheaded by the dashing and powerful pocket dynamo that is Jack Roberts thrilling Bedwas’s best crowd of the season.
There has seldom been a game of such attacking quality to vaunt the competitiveness and the quality of the Principality Premiership as witnessed by a host of personalities. Former WRU Coaching Organiser Malcolm Lewis, ex-international referee Les Peard, WRU Board of Director Martin Davies, politician Ron Davies and Wales prop Adam Jones – a brief but former Drover - purred with delight at the spectacle before them.
“You will go a long way to see such a riveting and rousing clash where everything was positive, foul play absent and skill levels for a semi-professional game so high,“ said Lewis.
Bedwas were magnificently generous in defeat. Coaches Steve Law and Ian Gardner got over their bitter disappointment with a refreshing smile. “Rugby is the winner when the game is as quick, exciting and compelling as that,” said the long serving and honest Law. “We had golden chances to win the game but Llandovery held out and good luck to them when they face Llanelli.”
Llandovery’s Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans were generous in praise of brave Bedwas. “Two adventurous sides gave it everything they had to the point of exhaustion and it was all in the lap of the gods until the end,“ said Lewis.
The first half saw Llandovery outscore Bedwas by three tries to two – centre Jack Roberts, fly half James Garland and full back Lee Rees trumping efforts from fly half Ethan Davies and evergreen No 8 Deri Mattravers.
Bedwas got two quick tries after the interval through wing Lewis Hudd and Dragons centre Lewis Robling to go 31-19 ahead. Centre Matthew Jacobs cut the deficit, Mattravers answered with Bedwas’s fifth try, replacement wing Jake Randall then got Llandovery’s fifth try but a Robling penalty kept Bedwas ahead 41-36.
Llandovery kept their heads in the ever increasing tension and pounded away at the Bedwas line before spreading the ball wide for wing Chris Knight to go over and tie the scores. Garland’s fine conversion took the Drovers through to the play offs on May 11 to the huge delight of some 50 loyal Drovers supporters but only after Bedwas had wasted two golden try scoring chances at the death.