Drovers face Llanelli test
12:02pm Monday 2nd September 2013 in Sport
Llandovery and Llanelli will battle it out at Church Bank this Saturday to decide who will represent the Scarlets region in this year's British and Irish Cup, writes Huw S Thomas.
Last Saturday Llanelli beat Carmarthen Quins 16-15 to get through to the final qualifying round against the Drovers who had a bye into the play offs by dint of finishing the best placed Scarlets side in last year's Principality Premiership.
The Quins gave Llanelli a real fright last week in going down to the narrowest of defeats at Parc Y Scarlets and Llandovery – with home advantage - will hope to go one better than the Carmarthen club.
The Quins had the lion’s share of possession in a rousing local derby but missed a number of scoring chances and three very kickable penalties in a game that went right to the wire.
Llandovery and Llanelli fought out three very close battles last year.
In the regular season, the Drovers won 32-22 at Church Bank with Llanelli gained revenge with a 29-26 home victory but in the Premiership play-off it was Llanelli that had the better of things.
They came away from Church Bank with a 29-20 win before losing out to Pontypridd in the Millennium Stadium play-off final.
The Drovers build up to the season has included a very creditable 21-9 defeat to Pontypridd at Sardis Road and a good 24-10 win over English National One side from Cinderford. Hopes are high that they can emulate last season's grand performance in finishing runners up to Ponty.
The loss of some key players through transfers and retirement has done very little to upset morale and skipper and flanker Phil Day is confident of a good year.
The winners of this week's match at Church Bank will go into a British and Irish pool containing English Championship clubs Bedford and Rotherham Titans plus Irish provincial development side Connacht.
Only three other Welsh clubs will be involved in the B and I Cup this year, namely the representatives of Blues, Ospreys and Dragons regions.
The winners of this week's game between Pontypridd and Cardiff, Aberavon and Bridgend and Bedwas and Cross Keys will join either Llandovery or Llanelli in the 24-strong cup.
The first round of matches in the B and I Cup will take place on Saturday October 12
KO at Church Bank on Saturday will be 2.30pm.
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