2008/2009 Principality Premiership
Llandovery 9 v 15 Cardiff
04 October 2008 - Church Bank, Llandovery

Match Report

Llandovery 9 Cardiff 15

It was windy. It was wet. It was a win.

The bare facts are that Gareth Davies kicked five penalty goals in five attempts in the first 25 minutes – and that completed the Blue & Blacks scoring.

Then opposite number Gareth James responded with three out of three for the Drovers, one of them into the teeth of the first-half gale.

Which brings us to the sub-plot of a back to the future afternoon at Church Bank. Cardiff kicked off with the driving rain and wind at their backs and, predictably, stayed in Llandovery territory for almost all of the next 40 minutes.

Davies' goals duly arrived in the fifth, seventh, eleventh, 20th and 25th minutes and all from within 30-metre range. He deserves a pat on the back for not only judging the swirling conditions to perfection but also for not overkicking with his tactical boot either.

Part one of the game plan worked a treat. Part two, ramming home the advantage with a couple of tries, never got going.

Even when the hosts were reduced to 14 men after prop Endaf Howells was binned and covered the front row shortage by taking off their full-back for 10 minutes, no tries materialised. Instead, the gritty Drovers paid a first visit to Cardiff's 22 and were rewarded by a 29th minute penalty goal from James.

An interval lead of 15-3 didn't look nearly enough. James slotted his first goal of the second half within four minutes of the restart. The war of attrition continued now within 30 metres of Cardiff's line. But Llandovery's open field kicking was noticeably less disciplined that Cardiffs in the first period.

And on the hour came their crucial mistake when a rush of blood saw a quick tap penalty being taken in front of Cardiff's posts, the move fizzled out, and the three points' gift goal was literally blown away. A subsequent third goal for James in the 71st minute did little to repair the damage because, in effect, his side had played an extra 11 minutes at a two-score disadvantage.

At the very end Wales' international Dafydd Jones at number 8 led several charges towards Cardiff's line but the defence held firm. All of the pack responded to the example set by that yeoman of the guard, Matthew Veater.

It was a case of medals all around as one last sortie by Jones from the back of a five-metre scrum was again snuffled out and from the subsequent line out and text-book catch-and-drive, Lee Jarvis proved an admirable time-keeper assistant to the referee. The ball was held in the maul seemingly for an age but when the nod came from Simon Harris – who also deserves a mention in dispatches for his sympathetic refereeing in trying conditions – that time was indeed up Jarvis happily booted the ball into touch in goal to set the seal on what might be called a workmanlike result.

But it was still wild and wonderful.

Official : Steven Edwards (Wales)

Llandovery Cardiff