What the Papers Say – Tom Hughes reports:
Llandovery returned to form when they ran out exciting winners over Bedwas in Saturday’s early kick off game. Nine tries, 70 points and five yellow cards in a game of many thrills and spills gave spectators great value for their money in seeing the Drovers win their fifth game in six Premiership outings.
Down 28-14 at half time, it took a late injury time try from fly half Jack Maynard to rob the visitors of a victory that looked likely in the first half.
After the loss of their unbeaten record at Pontypridd, Llandovery coach Euros Evans was bold enough to change half the side and the five tries to four win – including a hat trick from leading try scorer Aaron Warren - puts them back up into second place in the Premiership.
There were new combinations at centre, half back and all three rows of the scrum so Evans was more than happy with Llandovery’s fourth bonus point win in six games. “I wasn’t too pleased with our sloppy first half defence and lack of discipline but the boys reacted very well after the break,” added Evans. “We took advantage of their mistakes - and four yellow cards - controlled possession and the pace of the game, put width into our play and came through strongly in the end.”
Bedwas had three Dragons in their ranks and, in a confident start, they made light of the sin binning of hooker Alun Rees to run in four first half tries through scrum half Tom Rowlands, Rees (2) and wing Matthew John.
Prop Berian Watkins had ten minutes in the sin bin but tries from scrum half Rhodri Davies and another from wing Warren plus a Maynard penalty kept the Drovers in touch at the break.
The sin binning of Bedwas prop Brynley Toms heralded the start of an exciting rally, with Maynard kicking a penalty. Yellow cards for lock Matthew Screech and hooker Richard Wilkes reduced Bedwas resistance and gave the space for Warren to complete his hat trick to make it 30-32 before Maynard sniped home late on. It brought his tally to an impressive 62 points after six games to stress his valuable contribution.
Llandovery travel to third placed Aberavon on Saturday (KO 1pm) where they will come up against their former coach Lyndon Lewis who moved to the Wizards at the start of the season
The Bedwas website contains the following Match report by Ian Lovell
Bedwas indiscipline made a huge contribution as a 14 point half lead was squandered at Church Bank.
With the breeze in their faces Bedwas were out of the blocks as early as the fifth minute with scrum half Tom Rowlands wriggling under a tackle to ground the ball. Richard Powell’s conversion went wide.
Llandovery regrouped and frantic Bedwas defence saw Alun Rees sin binned for killing the ball very close to the try line. Good defence kept out a succession of 5 metre Llandovery scrums before scrum half Rhodri Davies found a gap to cross, Jack Maynard‘s conversion attempt went wide.
Llandovery’s winger Aaron Warren crossed for an unconverted try before Bedwas hooker Alun Rees scored two tries after 24 and 31 minutes both coming from driving mauls. Powell converted the first effort.
As Bedwas sought to increase their lead it was Llandovery’s turn to incur the referee’s wrath as prop Berian Watkins was sinbinned for side entry at a ruck. Bedwas made the numerical advantage pay off immediately, Mathew John showing great strength to burst through two tackles to bring up the four try bonus point, Powell adding the extras.
Llandovery had the last word of the half via a penalty goal from Jack Maynard.
With the breeze at their backs Bedwas ought to have been confident they would hold out for the victory. Brynley Toms’ sinbinning for tackling an opponent without the ball being the start of a gradual decline as the home side began to believe they could get something out of the game after the home side made them pay via a Maynard penalty. Powell slotted a Bedwas penalty to increase the lead before Aaron Warren added a second try on the hour for the home side, Maynard’s conversion reduced the arrears further.
Powell added a second penalty but Bedwas found themselves struggling to find any cohesion to their game which was further exacerbated by Screech’s sinbinning for a trip in midfield. Again the extra man proved decisive as Warren pounced for a try improved upon by Maynard and the home side were only two points in arrears.
With the home side throwing everything at Bedwas discipline was crucial. With two minutes remaining Richard Wilkes was adjudged as entering a ruck from the side and the referee had no hesitation in ensuring he took no further part in the game as he was sin binned.
With the game into its sixth minute of injury time former Bedwas outside half Maynard found a gap and with a grin like a Cheshire cat gleefully dived in for a try. He recovered his composure to slot the conversion to ensure his side held on for victory. As well as a four try bonus point finishing within eight points earned Bedwas a losing bonus point but they will rue the indiscipline which proved costly.