LLANDOVERY RFC put on a performance fit for the reigning champions as they took on Bridgend at the Dunraven Brewery Field under the Friday night lights.

The Drovers got off to a good start as captain Lee Rees went over within the first two minutes after a pass went a bit awry, being tapped by a Bridgend player before being picked up by the scrum half to score right under the posts. Fly-half Ioan Hughes added the conversion.

The game was stopped a few minutes later after a clash of heads saw both sides make blood replacements and following the restart, there was a period of aerial ping pong as both teams chose to use their boots, eventually going out of play for a Bridgend line-out, but the home team were unable to capitalise as the Drovers defence held strong, regaining possession.

South Wales Guardian: Osian Davies went over for the Drovers' third tryOsian Davies went over for the Drovers' third try (Image: Newsquest)

Bridgend’s line-out proved to be a bit of an issue during the game, with their missed line-out deep in the Drovers half saw some good teamwork from the visitors, passing out wide with winger Harri Doel then going over for the Drovers’ second try right under the posts, with another successful conversion.

Bridgend were able to get on the scoreboard shortly after as fly-half Luke Price kicked a penalty. Drovers hit back with another try from Osian Davies, which was awarded despite calls by the Bridgend team and fans for a forward pass. Hughes added the conversion bringing the Drovers to a 21-3 lead with 30 minutes gone.

Drovers’ defence held up well as in a rare moment, the home side applied pressure on the try line but the defence forced an error to earn the penalty and clear their lines.

The second half started better for Bridgend who put the visitors under pressure. Drovers’ defence was able to cope with the home side camped out a few metres from the try-line, but their tight defence was soon to unravel as Bridgend passed the ball out wide for full-back Ed Howley to go over for the Ravens just three minutes after the start of the second half.

The conversion was missed, bringing the score to 21-8 to Llandovery, with Hughes adding a penalty shortly after to make it 24-8 to the Drovers.

A brief period of errors followed, with Drovers having a rare failed line-out but Bridgend were unable to capitalise, knocking the ball on after gaining possession. The resulting Drovers scrum saw an attempt at a break but the following pass wasn’t gathered, allowing Bridgend to take possession, which they sent down to the Drovers 22.

A double knock on saw the Drovers get the scrum to alleviate the pressure. As the rain started to pour, Drovers scored their fourth try of the game – the third under the posts – as Adam Warren goes over following some great work by Doel who was a bright spark throughout the game. The conversion was successful bringing the Drovers’ total to 31.

Bridgend would then go over for their second try of the night after working through a number of phases before the weather started to hamper both teams as a number of handling errors were made.

Drovers had the final say with a penalty in the Bridgend 22, where they opted to kick for touch, with the resulting line-out on the 5m line leading to a driving maul which saw Harry Thomas get the ball down, with another successful conversion to follow.

Final score: Bridgend Ravens 13 – 38 Llandovery RFC.