What the Papers Say – Tom Hughes reports:
Llandovery supporters are certainly getting their money’s worth these days, with yet another high scoring game decided in injury time. With the scores tied at 31-31 replacement wing Lee Evans confidently struck a penalty to snatch a well-deserved victory for the Drovers.
Going in to the match, Neath were in the unusual position of propping up the Principality Premiership, having played four consecutive league games at home and lost them all. Llandovery had felt disappointed to only draw with Pontypridd last week, when victory was within their grasp.
Coaches Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans were pleased with the Llandovery performance, but cautioned that “There are still one or two things to work on”. As Lewis said, “Five points against Neath is a very good achievement, wherever they are in the table”.
Llandovery’s support play and willingness to attack from all areas of the field constantly stretched the Neath defence. Wyn Jones had another storming game at prop, with captain Phil Day a constant menace in attack and defence. Full back Lee Rees and outside-half James Garland both used the strong first-half wind to good effect, constantly putting the ball behind the Neath defence.
The energetic Tom Ball scored the first Llandovery try after a drive from the line-out, but Neath soon responded with a try from scrum-half Josh Davies, converted by Adam Jones. Shaun Miles, who had a fine all-round game, touched down for two tries in the space of five minutes. The first of these tries involved a bullocking run from 25 metres out, the second was from another catch and drive in the line-out. Both were converted by James Garland, to give Llandovery a 19-7 interval lead.
Adam Jones scored a try for Neath and converted it, to keep them well in touch at 19-14, before Sam Soul scored in the corner after yet another catch and drive in the line-out.
Dafydd Howells on the Neath wing, recently capped by Wales in Japan, always looked strong and elusive. He marked his return with two tries, either side of a good individual try from James Garland for the Drovers, to bring the scores level at 31-31.
With full time already showing on the clock, cometh the hour and all that, and Lee Evans did the rest. There was still time for one final twist when Neath were awarded a penalty wide-out, but still in Adam Jones’s range. The kick drifted wide and Llandovery had secured their third consecutive victory over Neath.