Carmarthenshire Tyres League Cup
Carmarthen Quins 8, Llandovery 14
LLANDOVERY caused a huge upset, beating hot favourites Carmarthen Quins on their own Park patch, writes Tom Hughes.
The Quins had got the better of the Drovers twice in the league and were strongly fancied to end the season without losing a game, but had to give second best to their Tywi Valley rivals.
The second XVs of the two Premiership clubs have astute coaches in Simon Rogers and Geraint Williams and their charges did them proud in an entertaining and well-contested final.
It was Llandovery’s fifth cup in eight years and testament to the valuable contribution that former captain Williams has made to the well-being of the club in recent years Williams was delighted: “We were under a lot of pressure in the first half when the Quins had much the better of play.
“But a few tactical changes after the break, plus some outstanding individual contributions, turned it around.”
The Quins led 5-0, after a great counter-attacking try covering the length of the pitch ended with centre Lloyd Williams going over.
Hooker and skipper Paul Gravelle, along with back rowers Ricky Davies and Dion Howells, kept the Quins on the front foot and the lead would have been greater if both tactical and place kicking had been more accurate Llandovery stayed in the game with a huge defensive performance. The back row of Jake Guerin, Craig Davies and Tom Bailey were outstanding. They got back into the game just before half- time when wing Dan Davies kicked a 30 metre penalty.
The Drovers upped the tempo in the second half, with the move of scrum half Andrew Owen into the centre producing quick dividends.
Owen, fly half Arwel Davies and full back Dylan Williams threatened in attack and Owen made a number of incisive breaks to put the Quins defence on the back foot.
With lock Aled Walters dominating the line out with and against the throw and his partner Gareth Davies full of life in the loose, the Drovers went ahead Dan Davies kicked a penalty. Quins briefly regained the lead with a penalty from Williams but the Drovers’ fitness levels gave them the advantage in the final quarter.
Davies put over his third penalty and prop Rhys Jones finished patient pressure with a corner try to guaran - tee the cup was going back to Church Bank.