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Llandovery take Aberaeron 7s title

By Bryan Weaver | 30/08/2017

What the Papers Say - Huw S Thomas reports
Copyright Huw S Thomas, and used by kind permission of Huw S Thomas

It was one great Bank Holiday weekend for Llandovery rugby. The Drovers had been outstanding in beating RGC 31-10 in the opening day of the Principality Premiership and on Sunday they won the Aberaeron Sevens for the first ever time.

They denied 7s kings Carmarthen Warriors a remarkable ninth title in eleven years, winning the final 24-17 more clearly than the score suggests.

In front of the usual bumper Bank Holiday crowd, they clinched a purse of £1200 thanks to a tremendous start which brought them three tries in as many minutes through Jack Parkinson, Rhodri Wall and Player of the Tournament and Llandovery captain Kristian Jones.

Fly half Jones – a new recruit from Trebanos – guaranteed good ball by hanging three kick offs with such precision and accuracy that the Drovers’ jumpers retained valuable possession. He and scrum half Alex Davies were then able to construct attacks that put the Warriors defence under huge pressure and the speed of Wall, Parkinson, wing Gethin Gibby and ex-Gloucester full back Jack Evans proved too much for the Warriors’ defence.

Crymych’s Tom Powell gave the invitation side hope with a try before half time after good work from Tenby’s Ashley Sutton but Wall’s second try at the start of the second half put the Drovers 24-7 up and beyond the Warriors’ reach. Late tries by Powell - brother of Drover Joe Powell – and Cardigan wing John Lumb at the death were of no importance.

Coaches Simon Davies and Gareth Potter, standing in for Euros Evans, were thrilled with the win.

“We had only one player from Saturday’s starting line up against RGC so this was a fine effort to turn over such a vastly experienced Warriors side,” said Davies, a fine sevens player himself when at Cardiff. Any number of players have put their hands up for a Premiership recognition and the competition for places is hotting up all the time.”

“We scored some lovely tries but our defence too was tight enough to repel a lot of Warriors pressure after the break,” said defence coach Potter.

Llandovery had a scare at the pool stage when a sloppy start saw them trailing 15-0 to the Flamingos – the Warriors second side - but then ran in four tries including one apiece from Davies and Jones to win 26-15.

Bargoed, the other Premiership outfit at Aberaeron, who had beaten the Warriors 31-21 at the pool stage, promised to threaten Llandovery progress in the semi final but quick-fire tries from Wall, Davies and Gibby knocked them for six and Ross Barnes got a fourth try in the 28-12 win.

In the other semi-final the Warriors did not have it all their own way against a young and exuberant Aberaeron, who had talented players in scrum half Morgan Llewellyn, centre Tom Slinger, Iwan Jones and Iwan Evans but tries from Ross Pritchard, Scott Gibson, Gareth King, James Henshaw and Powell got them home 29-7.

But the final was all Llandovery in a quality game that did the ever popular tournament proud.

The Plate went to the Flamingos with a brace of tries from Jordan Asparasa helping hem beat Penallta 27-0.

In the junior tournaments held over the weekend there were wins for Aberaeron (U13), Carmarthen Athletic (U15), Brynaman (U17) and Crymych (U19).

Semi- final results: Carmarthen Warriors 29 Aberaeron 7; Llandovery 28 Bargoed 12

Final: Llandovery 28 Carmarthen Warriors 14

Plate final: Flamingos 27 Penallta 0

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