Drovers suffer Keys lock-out
5:02pm Monday 30th September 2013 in Sport
Cross Keys 29 Llandovery 13
Llandovery have not won at Cross Keys for 10 years and they again came second best against a home side that had far the better of the forward exchanges writes Tom Hughes
The Drovers had a strong side out at Pandy Park but with the forwards outmuscled and outfought try chances were sparse and it was only late on that full back Matthew Jacobs grabbed their one try.
Coaches Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans were very disappointed with the first half display –“ the most listless for a good while” – and not very satisfied with the unpredictability of referee Shorte’s interpretations at scrum and ruck.
It was ironic too that Keys full back Rhys Jones - brother of fly half Dorian Jones and son of Dragons coach Kingsley Jones - was the main points scorer for the winners
He played six times for the Drovers last year and scored 36 points but this time he put the boot into his old Carmarthenshire club in scoring three conversions and a penalty.
The driving line out brought Keys two of their three first half tries as they built up an impressive 24-3 interval lead.
Lock Dan Hodge and flanker Scott Matthews were the beneficiaries of the close knit work of the pack and the other lock Tom Lampard also crossed after good inter-passing from backs and forwards alike.
Full back Jones kicked all the conversions and a penalty to underline home superiority.
Llandovery’s answer was a lone penalty from fly half Ian Brooks but they then went on to make a far better fist of the second half.
Brooks kicked a penalty before being replaced by James Garland and with replacements Llew Jones and Luke Kendall in particular putting in a lot of hard work in attack and defence things were better balanced.
Garland put in some neat kicks that turned the Keys defence and with Rhodri Davies coming on to play scrum half, Lee Rees moving to full back and Matthew Jacobs moving up to centre the Drovers looked more threatening.
When Jacobs crossed and Garland converted to make it 24-13 with eight minutes to play, there were fleeting hopes of an unexpected losing bonus point if the Drovers could snaffle one more try.
It was not to be as the Keys finished as strongly as they had started, wing Nathan Trowbridge getting a very late try to secure a bonus point.
Llandovery could hardly complain as they ended well beaten by a side that posted notice they will be serious contenders for a top three place.
Llandovery entertain defending Premiership champions Pontypridd at Church Bank this Saturday ((KO 2 30 pm)