Tom Hughes reports:
The Drovers were knocked off the top of the Premiership table when they went down to this narrow two tries to one defeat at the hands of the Steelmen.
They salvaged a losing bonus point by staying within eight points of Ebbw but now slip down to second in the table – one point behind Aberavon but one point ahead of Pontypridd, both of whom won convincingly at Bridgend and Carmarthen respectively. Llandovery’s next Premiership game is on February 13 when defending champions Pontypridd will be the visitors to Church Bank in what will be a very important fixture for both title aspirants.
Club chairman Handel Davies had accurately predicted a close forward battle at Eugene Cross Park but was disappointed to lose. “The boggy conditions did not suit our free flowing style but we still had enough chances to grab a win and it was unfortunate that a perfectly legitimate try under the posts was not awarded early in the second half when we were in control. That said, we got a point out of a very difficult game as Ebbw Vale always give any team a lot to think about on their home patch.”
Llandovery knew full well that they would face an Ebbw Vale side determined to forget the humiliation of losing 50-0 at Church Bank before Christmas and so it proved.
On a heavy pitch that suited the forward orientated style of the pumped up Gwent side, the Drovers conceded two tries from driven line outs – one in each half. They both came from line outs near the Llandovery line, with back row Ronny Kynes flopping over on both occasions at the end of well rehearsed trademark moves.
The Drovers could only reply the once when, after 55 minutes, wing Mike Evans finished off a slick and swift movement initiated by fly half Jack Maynard. That made it 6-6 and although chances came and went at both ends, the second Kynes try seven minutes from time, converted by fly half Dai Langdon proved decisive.