Keys add to Drovers woes

CROSS KEYS...................26 LLAN­DOVERY.................18

Carmarthen Journal - - Rugby -

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.

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