Keys add to Drovers woes
CROSS KEYS...................26 LLANDOVERY.................18
JACOB Botica ensured Cross Keys didn’t miss their regular No 10 Jason Tovey as they inflicted a third successive defeat on Llandovery.
Keys head coach Morgan Stoddart singled out Botica for special praise after he scored 16 points to finally help the Pandy Park outfit over the line for only their third win of the season and their first success since September 15.
“Jacob’s obviously a class player, an outstanding semi-pro,” said Stoddart.
“We’ve struggled when we haven’t had Jason Tovey available and it was nice to have a quality No. 10 to try to steer the ship for us.
“I thought the boys we had from the Dragons were good, honest players and they put everything into the game and helped us get over the line.
“The intensity was there, you could see a different edge from the past few games.”
The Drovers spent the first 20 minutes on the back foot with Keys launching wave after wave of attacks to build up a 10-0 lead.
Botica opened the scoring with a well-taken penalty before adding the conversion to Wes Cunliffe’s try.
The visitors upped the ante as they looked to haul themselves back into the game but struggled to find a way past a resolute home defence.
The hosts did manage to extend their lead through another Botica three-pointer.
But Jack Maynard gave Llandovery hope with a penalty with the last kick of the half.
That lifted the visitors’ spirits as they made a good start to the second half, but their positivity was quickly taken away when Majkic intercepted a pass and then set up Dan Babos for a try with a kick forward.
Botica was once again on target from the tee, but Llandovery refused to give up and closed the deficit to 10 points with Berian Watkins’ outstretched arm handing them their first try.
Maynard converted before two more Botica penalties kept Keys in control.
The Drovers delivered a second Maynard penalty and then a Corey Baldwin try in the closing 10 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to stave off another defeat.
Llandovery will look to arrest their losing run on Saturday when they host Newport. Cross Keys face the long trip north to take on RGC in Colwyn Bay.