Llandovery 42 Ystalyfera 0
Premiership side Llandovery strolled through to the second round of the Welsh Cup with this six tries to nil victory over a very brave Ystalyfera who kept going right to the very end writes Huw S Thomas.
Ystalyfera were promoted to the Championship last year and on the evidence of this game, they will compete well with the likes of Pontypool and both Cross Keys and Bargoed who were relegated from the Premiership.
In the last game before they start off the Premiership campaign against RGC on Saturday, the Drovers were short of top forwards Stuart Worrall, Richard Brooks and Jack Jones but the pace of the home backs put paid to any hope of a Cup upset.
Not that this was an impressive performance from the Drovers.
Coach Euros Evans was warm in his praise of a determined effort from the visitors but bemoaned the lack of precision in the home effort.
“We had the lion’s share of possession but made a bucketful of uncharacteristic mistakes.” said Evans.
“We never took full control against a dogged defence and will need to improve a lot to beat RGC next week.”
“One positive was that we did not concede a single point and need that to continue next week.”
Credit goes to Ystalyfera who tackled ferociously and competed hard at the break down to slow the ball down but Llandovery ball retention was poor, too many players tried too much on their own and there was a general lack of fizz about their game.
Lee Rees tried hard at scrum half, Ryan Evans probed well in the centre whilst up front Dino Dallavalle, Alun Rees and flanker Tom Davies were always in the thick of things but there was a lack of continuity in the Llandovery game.
It took five minutes for the Drovers to score, flanker Joe Powell crossing under the posts leaving an easy conversion for fly half Jack Maynard,
The visitors had to do a lot of tackling but wing Aaron Warren eventually scored the second Llandovery try, giving Maynard another simple conversion.
The physical effort it was taking to keep the Drovers at bay soon began to tell and close range tries from Italian prop Dino Dallavalle and hooker Alun Rees, both converted by Maynard made it 30-0 on the half hour.
Ystalyfera had a glimpse of an opportunity after centre Martyn Davies had chipped the defence and gathered the ball but they were denied by a lack of finishing out wide.
The Championship oufit kept their line intact for the first quarter of the second half and even had fleeting outside chances of scoring.
Joe Powell made a break on the Ystalyfera 22 to put replacement scrum half Scott Maynard scampering in under the posts to give brother Jack another easy conversion.
A yellow card for hooker Ryan James bode ill for Ysalyfera but they kept their shape and energy in the loose with admirable resolve.
They were unlucky to concede a late touchdown when centre Kristian Jones intercepted a stray pass to sprint fully 75 metres for yet another seven pointer.
Tries: J Powell, A Warren, D Dallavalle, A Rees, S Maynard, K Jones
Cons: J Maynard (6)
*** North Wales club RGC are the visitors to Church Bank this Saturday (KO 2 30 pm). It will be Llandovery’s first Premiership game of the 2019-2020 season.