Drovers battle to victory over Whites
3:28pm Monday 9th December 2013 in Sport
Swansea 20 Llandovery 25
High flying Llandovery kept up the pressure on Pontypridd and Carmarthen Quins at the top of the Premiership with this hard fought win at St Helen's writes Tom Hughes.
The Drovers were confident after the 41-3 demolition of Llanelli but were taken all the way by an All Whites side desperate to get away from the lower reaches of the Premiership.
The Drovers outscored Swansea by three tries to two but for long periods had to fight a tough battle for possession and survive some desperate late home attacks.
Llandovery were a trifle unfortunate to be trailing 10-5 at half time as they came close to a couple of tries to add to the one by lock and skipper Phil Day.
That said long serving full back Nicky Thomas missed a fairly straightforward penalty that would have stretched the home lead to 13-5.
Swansea who had former Drover and Ospreys Lyndon Bateman at lock had got a try through centre Aled Jenkins – son of former All Whites stalwart Gareth Jenkins - and a conversion and penalty from Thomas but the Drovers held on to the ball better after the break.
And with centre Matthew Jacobs a real danger in midfield the momentum gradually built.
Wing Lee Evans and Thomas swapped penalties before a sweeping attack ended with a converted try for a 15-13 Llandovery lead which became 18-13 with another penalty from the Waunarlwydd product.
The referee refused one line out drive try through being unsighted but then was up in a good position to see replacement hooker Lee Lewis burrow over for a converted try to give the Drovers a 12 point cushion.
Swansea refused to bend the knee and got back into the game with a well worked try from wing Mark Harvey which Thomas improved upon with four minutes to go.
Both sides went for tries in a frantic finale - the home side strove for a win or draw, the Drovers for a bonus point but defences scrambled back to stop any further scoring.
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