Drovers beat the deluge to complete league double
WHAT a difference the weather can make.
When these two teams met in Bargoed on the opening day of the season, the visitors ran in eight tries in a 62-22 win.
In the wind, rain and mud at Church Bank it was a different story as the players slugged it out in a mudfest that saw four players pick up yellow cards in a 53-minute first half and an 80 minutes that featured three tries.
Two of those came from close range and the scoreline was still hanging in the balance well into the second half due to the conditions.
In the end, the greater forward power and precision of the home side saw them home and up to sixth place in the table.
After a run of three successive defeats, Euros Evans’s side have now won their last two and will head to the plastic pitch at the Arms Park for a vital game against Cardiff on Saturday. That will test how much of a recovery they have made.
The rash of yellow cards issued by referee Richard Deacey in the first half – Bargoed’s front-row duo of Rhys Buckley and Rhys Morgan started the exodus and then Drovers’ front-five members Rhys Jones and Berian Watkins followed – meant at various stages in the first period both teams were temporarily reduced to 13 men.
The first quarter saw an exchange of penalties from the
LLANDOVERY ................. 21 BARGOED ........................ 11
opposing outside-halves, Jack Maynard drawing first blood for Llandovery before Josh Prosser replied, and the first try came after 26 minutes.
No surprise, it came from a driving line-out with hooker Marc Jones coming up with the score for the home side.
Lock Morgan Jones was next over the Bargoed line on 40 minutes as he burrowed his way across from a close-range ruck for a try that Maynard improved.
That should have been the end of proceedings, but Mr Deacey somehow managed to find 12 extra minutes on the running time clock despite no major injuries in the first half.
So, when Bargoed conjured up a try for their centre Jordan Howells in the 53rd minute it was game on again.
The second half turned into a real slog as the conditions got worse and points became even harder to come by. There were three more penalties, two from Maynard with another Prosser effort sandwiched in between, and the final whistle was a relief all round.