A converted try for Llandovery in injury time failed to dampen Cardiff's spirit as they deservedly delivered a first Principality Premiership win of the campaign.
The victory was worth waiting for as the team never lost the lead after nosing head with a 12th minute penalty goal by Chris Anderson. The fly-half later cancelled out a reply from opposite number Tomas Marks and by the time the game had entered the second quarter there were encouraging signs of fluency and ambition developing in the Blue & Blacks' play.
Mark Lewis returned to the Blue & Black fold after regional duty and contributed a sterling effort at number 8. He found an able foil in Neil Coles who was always prepared to do the donkey work on the blind-side flank.
The pack as a whole deserve credit for subduing the rather large Drovers' pack who had obviously been fed well off the local livestock before it reached market. The visitors late inclusion of Tongan test winger Aisea Havili posed little threat to the Blue & Blacks threequarters. Cardiff trumped that with the selection of Tristan Davies who may not have had the ball in his hands many times but he certainly shored up the defence, most notably with one text-book tackle that stopped his opposite number in his tracks. That particular Drovers' trail led nowhere.
Not for the first time Cardiff's main attacking threat came from Leon Andrews at full-back. It was he who sparked the first try in the 34th minute, brilliantly launching a counter-attack with a dummy, sidestep and change of pace before sending Elgan Jones clear to the line. That established an 11-3 lead and the side never looked back.
A second Marks' penalty reduced the interval lead to five points but the Blue & Blacks were never seriously troubled after that. Visiting flanker Eifion Gwynne was sin-binned in the 50th minute as the penalty count mounted - at one stage it was 15-7 in Cardiff's favour before the usual late flourish of awards against the side in control kicked in.
By then Cardiff were out of sight. As if to confirm their growing superiority the pack produced a classic driving maul that ended in a heap over the Drovers' line and a try - a most deserved one - for Michael Leaman. The home crowd liked that. They also nodded with approval when Andrews finished off a back-line move for the third try.
At 21-6 ahead with barely 10 minutes left to play sloppiness crept in. Replacement lock Gareth Knight was foolishly sin-binned and in injury time Tom Walker trundled over for a try that Marks converted.
Cardiff, however, were home and dry, off the bottom of the league and already thinking about a first away win at Carmarthen Quins next week to keep the momentum going.