Cinderford 29 Llandovery 38
1:00pm Thursday 16th August 2012 in Sport
THE Drovers won the first of their three pre-season friendlies when they beat English National One side Cinderford by six tries to four at Dockham Road on Saturday, writes Huw S Thomas.
Despite being short of some seven squad members, Llandovery always had the edge in organisation, fitness and teamwork, and it was only in the last minutes of the game that Cinderford scored two converted tries to make the result closer than it should have been.
The Forest of Dean side had finished last year in tremendous style in National One with a crushing 44-0 defeat of Coventry, and expectations were high that they would beat Llandovery.
But it was the Welshmen who began well and looked the more impressive, scoring an outstanding forwards try after just six minutes when a line-out take-anddrive blew away the home defence for a score by prop Dean Howells.
Five more tries – from hooker Adam Yelland, centre Matthew Jacobs, scrum half Lee Rees, fly half James Garland and wing Chris Knight – against two home efforts had the Drovers clear at 39-14 before two very late efforts gave Cinderford some consolation and comfort.
Coaches Lyndon Lewis and Euros Evans were well pleased with the day’s work and the performances of the 26 players used through the game.
“Cinderford finished in the top half of National One last year and have ambitions to finish near the top this year so the result is highly encouraging for us,”
New signing Bryn Griffiths showed up well at lock and his experience with the Scarlets , Dragons and Blues should prove vital up front in the coming season.
But all in all this was a promising start for the Drovers – Ponty’s visit to Church Bank this Saturday will tell us more about Premiership prospects for 2012-2013.