What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas
Llandovery leapt up to second spot in the Premiership table with this fine bonus point away win over opponents whom they have always found difficult to overcome.
The Drovers are now just one point behind leaders Pontypridd with both sides having two games of the regular season left. Victory at Carmarthen (Tues April 19) and Cardiff on Saturday (April 23) would guarantee a top three spot and a place in the end of season play offs. If they were to finish in first spot, it would guarantee a Play Off final at Church Bank against the winners of the semi final play off between second and third.
In a taut, tense and uncompromising clash at Bridge Field, the result was in doubt right up to the end and it was only in the penultimate minute that skipper and Man of the Match Matthew Jacobs went over to clinch the bonus point in what was arguably his best ever game for the club.
The Drovers trailed 16-14 at the break despite matching Bedwas in tries, flanker Shaun Miles and centre Jacob Cowley answering a brace of close range efforts from hooker Richard Wilkes.
In the third quarter, the Bedwas forwards had the edge in the contact area to frustrate Llandovery ambition and the game was finely balanced. Then the Llandovery pack found new reserves of energy under outstanding lock Phil Day and half time replacement Bryn Griffiths, and scrum half Rhodri Davies had an immediate effect.
With 15 minutes to go Jacobs scored a memorable try from half way, coming off his wing into midfield, accelerating away from the first tackler and then swerving past two more defenders to make the line. Ex-Bedwas fly half Jack Maynard added the conversion to make it 22-16 and move on to 140 Premiership points, 34 points clear of former Drover James Garland (Aberavon).
Good substitutions by the Llandovery coaches kept the momentum going although there was always the chance that dangerous Bedwas could snatch the draw with a try or even win with a converted try.
Rhodri Davies kept threatening the Bedwas defence and centre Craig Woodall on his 51st appearance for the Club ran hard and straight in midfield but the day belonged to Jacobs. With a minute left on the clock, Llandovery patiently built up good field position and when the ball was moved wide, he stepped inside the cover for what could well turn out to be the most important try in all his 181 games for the club.