PRINCIPALITY PREMIERSHIP BRIDGEND 3 LLANDOVERY 17
9:10am Wednesday 14th March 2012 in Sport
THE Drovers completed the double over Bridgend on Friday night with a comfortable three tries to nil win at a soggy Brewery Field, writes Huw S Thomas.
It was their fourth double of the season following home and away victories over Aberavon, Cardiff and Newport.
In recording their 14th win in 20 league outings, the Drovers stay third on 65 points, just behind Neath and Carmarthen Quins.
With Neath, the Quins, Llanelli and Cross Keys all winning and Aberavon and Pontypridd losing their most recent matches, it would be a brave man who would forecast which sides will finish in the top three and be involved in the play-offs for the Championship title.
It is all boiling up to be a tense and exciting end of season, starting this Friday when Llanelli are the visitors to Church Bank.
One piece of good news for the Welsh clubs last week was the announcement by the WRU that all 12 of next season’s Premiership clubs will participate in the British and Irish Cup alongside 12 English, four Irish and four Scottish sides.
Bridgend team manager Wayne Hall who has been appointed team manager of the Premiership XV that takes on Georgia A at the Brewery Field on March 27, praised both sides for their desire to play good football in wet conditions. “There is a lot of talent in the Premiership and selection for the game against Georgia A will not be easy, given that there are so many quality players around,” said Hall.
“There is huge interest in the concept of a ‘capped’ international for Premiership players and it could be the forerunner of many an international encounter between a Wales XV and some of the developing countries,”
added the former Wales hooker who was capped against Samoa in 1988.
For the Drovers, full back Lee Rees put in some sparkling runs, wing Sam Soul was strong and direct and lock Shaun Jones busy in all areas.Bridgend had a canny fly half in Dai Flanagan and a big presence at lock in the shape of skipper Lloyd Peers, but they had a lot of youngsters in the team who could not cope with a vastly more experienced opposition.
Flanagan kicked an early penalty for the Ravens but the Llandovery pack – with evergreen prop Andrew Jones, and the back row of Phil Day, Luke Kendall and Shaun Miles impressing – dominated possession.
They got tries through wing Mike Evans after a slashing break from centre Jack Roberts, and one from the quicksilver Rees to go into the lead 12- 3 at the break.
Handling was difficult in the slippery conditions and defences were on top, but – under the direction of their excellent scrum half Rob Walters – the Llandovery forwards worked a closerange try for replacement prop Owen Evans to finish off the game in decisive fashion.