It may have been a scrappy match but there was never a dull moment at the Arms Park. Cardiff scored six tries, the referee awarded 34 penalties and three free kicks, not to mention a yellow and a red card - and Llandovery seemingly had more injury victims than Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow. In the end class told as the Blue and Blacks registered six tries, three in each half, and not even a hapless referee could prevent them providing some entertainment for another sizeable Arms Park crowd.
The Drovers had stayed in contention for the first 20 minutes thanks to a soft try, entirely the Blue and Blacks fault, and a torrent of penalties. Gareth McCarthy had established an early lead, converting his own try after a lovely dummy had confounded the Drovers’ drift defence. But a penalty goal by full back Ricky Williams and his conversion of Matthew Monaghan’s try after Cardiff’s lineout throw on their own line had been thrown to him gift-wrapped had left the home team trailing 7-10 after 16 minutes. Normal service was restored when more trickery by McCarthy sent Leon Andrews over for a try, quickly followed by another from Craig Morgan.
The international wing was to come through his first outing since April with flying colours as did prop Darren Crompton. The only setback in the first half was a yellow card for skipper Robin Sowden-Taylor on the brink of half time. In injury time Ricky Williams kicked another goal for the visitors and the referee could presumably enjoy an interval toast for reaching a landmark 20 penalties (and two free kicks) in barely 40 minutes of play.
The stop-start pattern continued in the second period. Two McCarthy penalties stretched Cardiff’s lead to 26-13 before they ran in three tries in the final 12 minutes. Lee Abdul touched down after a cleverly improvised grubber kick to the corner by Andrews; the full back claimed the next himself as he glided outside the remnants of the defence after text-book passing across the back line; and finally Nick Hampson provided the finishing touch after another penalty had led to a lineout in the left corner.
Andrews converted the last try but, with skipper Andrew Jones shown the red card for stamping, the visitors were already well beaten.