Tom Hughes reports:
The Drovers kept up their current good form with an outstanding away win at Eugene Cross Park.
Coach Euros Evans was expecting a really hard match against an Ebbw Vale side that had only three days before beaten Pontypridd and was delighted with the Llandovery performance. “Ebbw had gone to Sardis Road and come away with a 41-25 bonus point win so the task facing us was considerable but everyone played a huge part in the success,” smiled Evans.
His words were echoed by club President Handel Davies. “It was a tremendous team effort to go and beat the Premiership champions in their own back yard and it keeps us in the top half of the table in a season that continues to be highly competitive on all fronts,” said Davies.
There was particular praise for the non-stop work of the back row of Stuart Worrall, Richard Brooks and Shaun Miles whose tackling in defence and support work in attack was out of the top drawer.
Behind the scrum there were notable performances from half backs Rhodri Davies and Jack Maynard with scrum half Davies a constant danger with his sniping runs. The Crymych product was also unlucky not to score a solo chip and chase try in the first half, foiled only by the ball running out of his grasp over the dead ball line.
Maynard’s value to the cause was again underlined with his fine place kicking punishing Ebbw mistakes to the tune of five penalties and 15 points.
Defence coach Gareth Potter was full of praise for the work of the whole side in keeping Ebbw to the one try. “The Steelmen crossed the Ponty try line five times on Wednesday,” said Potter “so to restrict them to one try at a driving line out tells you a lot about the commitment and spirit of the side.”
The key to the Llandovery success was an excellent opening period when they dominated possession to keep Ebbw on the back foot for long periods. A try after just eight minutes came from a Maynard cross kick and a knock down from wing Aaron Warren who put supporting full back Lee Rees over.
Penalties from Maynard stretched the lead to 17-0 at half time before Ebbw came back into the game with a penalty from ex -Llanelli fly half Josh Lewis and a try from a line out by back row Ronny Kynes, converted by Lewis.
But the Drovers were not to be denied and although their only second half score was a Maynard penalty, their defensive prowess answered anything that the home side could throw at them.