Drovers clinch National Sevens title

STAR MAN: The Drovers' Rhodri Jones put in a stellar performance at the Fosters National Sevens tournament played at the Arms Park, Cardiff.

STAR MAN: The Drovers' Rhodri Jones put in a stellar performance at the Fosters National Sevens tournament played at the Arms Park, Cardiff.

First published in Sport by

A Drovers side including Ammanford pair Mike Evans and Shaun Miles won the second annual Foster's National Sevens when they beat the defending champions Pontypridd in a high quality final at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, writes Huw S Thomas.

The Towy Valley club had been well beaten 57-5 by Ponty in last year's final but took their revenge in thrilling style - five tries to three - with a decisive 33-19 victory.

For skipper and centre Matthew Jacobs it was one of the highlights of his career

“To come and win a national title at the famous Arms Park was a real thrill for all of us, We were really disappointed with our defeat at the hands of Ponty in last year's final and swore it would not happen again,” said 29-year-old Jacobs, from Llandeilo.

“And what we promised, I think we delivered.”

Pontypridd had looked favourites to win the title with a squad led by Wales 7s veteran Rhys Shellard.

They accounted for Cross Keys 31-10, Cardiff Mets 31-12 and Bridgend 17-12 and the smart money was still on the Rhondda boys in the final when the scores were tied 14-14 at the break.

Two Owen Morgan tries for Ponty against one from wing Richard Williams and fly half Rhodri Jones had failed to separate the sides.

But it was all Llandovery thereafter with Player of the Tournament Rhodri Jones continuing to make a huge impression with his straight and strong running and fine support work.

Llandovery's two new signings from Swansea – Rhys and Richard Williams – and little bobby dazzling scrum-half Lee Rees, from Penygroes, raced in for tries against the one from Ponty's Dale Stuckey to clinch the title.

Llandovery scored 19 tries in their four wins amassing a total of 119 points whilst conceding 41 after wins over Cardiff 43-0, Carmarthen Quins 19-17, Aberavon 24-10 and Pontypridd 33-19.

Coach Lyndon Lewis – never a one to gloat over victory - had his feet firmly on the ground after seeing his charges shine on the big stage.

“It's great for a small club to come through and beat some of the great names in the game It was really satisfying to do it with a lot of young developing players most of whom are in their early 20s,” he said.

“But we move on, facing a real challenge against Llanelli this Saturday in the British and Irish Cup and then open the season with a difficult game away to Ebbw Vale on the opening day of the season.

“We will not be resting on our laurels.”

Round 1: Llandovery 43 Cardiff 0

QF:Llandovery 19 Carmarthen Quins 17

SF: Llandovery 22 Aberavon 10

Cup Final Llandovery 33 Pontypridd 19

In the supporting events, the U13 title went to Cardigan, Bridgend Athletic won the U15 Cup and Penallta carried off the Youth Cup for the fourth consecutive year when they beat Crymych 34-7.

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