LLYWARCH AP MYRDDIN’s try in the ninth minute of injury time gave bottom-placed Newport the narrowest of victories over a heartbroken Llandovery side.
It had looked like James Garland had secured victory for the Drovers with two penalties in the dying minutes, but with his side leading 21-17, the big North Walian fullback found a gap to slip over in the corner in controversial circumstances.
Llandovery have been dogged this season by continuous indiscipline, this time round it was Greg Cunniffe who was binned following continuous offences at the scrum, giving away a penalty try in the process.
After Garland and Geraint O’Driscoll swapped penalties, Llandovery winger Aaron Warren crossed for a fine converted tries to send the sides in level at the interval ten points apiece.
As the sides emerged for the second period it was Llandovery who looked the livelier in the early stages with their sharp backs causing problems for the home defence. But it was Newport who struck first when their excellent centre Dominic Franchi sliced through the Drovers before the ball was recycled and North Walian ap Myrddin finished well for his first try converted by O’Driscoll.
The Drovers got themselves back in it not long after when number eight Richard Brooks crashed over in the corner for a soft unconverted try to reduce the arrears to 17-15 with just over 20 minutes left to play.
With the West Wales side enjoying a larger share of the ball with a quarter of an hour to play, Garland put them a point ahead with a well taken penalty. Elliot Frewen looked to have gone over to give the hosts the lead but a superb last ditch tackle brought him down inches short.
With Frewen missing another chance and Garland nothcing another penalty to put some daylight between the two sides it looked like Llandovery were heading for a well deserved victory. However the visitors were unable to put the ball dead and Newport kept the ball alive through phases to numerous to count and in the 89th minute they stole victory, leaving the Drovers with little more than a losing bonus point.
This Saturday sees Llandovery travel to Llanelli for what will be coach Lyndon Lewis’ last game before he takes up the reigns at Aberavon. Both teams will have been disappointed with their campaigns which promised so much back in September. As they are both certain to finish in the bottom half, both sides will be keen to put a show on for their supporters.