The form book predicted a home win for the Drovers but it could have so easily been a win for the visitors as they led 19-17 on 73 mins and when down 19-24 were pushing for the winning score approaching time only to concede two tries in stoppage time after a Newport yellow card. Although Llandovery deserved the win the score certainly flattered them.
For the first quarter Newport were under pressure in the set pieces. After 14 mins their midfield was pulled in mid field and a lob pass sent wing Aaron Warren in the corner and then on 19 mins dangerous scrum-half Rhodri Williams stole down the blindside after a line-out and ran in unopposed giving the Drovers a 12-0 lead on the first quarter. Llandovery centre Jack Roberts was yellow carded for stopping a Newport quick line-out throw. From the resulting penalty Newport pressed across field into Llandovery 22 and Hywel Stoddart got over. Llandovery then suffered another yellow card with wing Warren being the culprit and on the 6th min of added time Scott Sneddon kicked a penalty and the visitors were lucky to go in at the break only 12-8 down.
After the break Newport were now much more in the game and were holding their own in the set pieces with 17yr old Alex Jeffries up against Owen Evans who will be joining the Dragons shortly certainly holding his own. Scott Sneddon kicked a penalty on 44 mins but Matt Jacobs added a try for the home side on 52 mins. A nice move saw Alex Jeffries, Craig Everett and Craig Attwell combine well and interchange with the captain running in a try on 65mins. Sneddon's penalty on 70 mins put the Black & Ambers ahead for the first time at 19-17. That man Rhodri Williams put the Drovers ahead ahead with a converted try 24-19 but the visitors were certainly very much in the game. Their hopes were somewhat dented when replacement Craig Everett was yellow carded for pulling down at the line on 76 mins but they continued to press for the winning score. Over eagerness and lack of patience at recycling the ball saw them not take the chances and then they squandered their losing bonus point by losing the ball for the Drovers to run from their own half and wing Jake Randall to touch down under the posts on 80+ 1 min. To rub salt into the wound they scored again on 80+8 mins when replacement prop got over for a flattering final score of 38-19.
Injuries meant that Newport once again could not field a 23rd man and so props Dai Pattison and young Alex Jeffries played the whole match.
MOM : Llandovery : Rhodri Williams and Newport : Adam Frampton
Photos courtesy of Ron Sutcliffe :