A LAST minute penalty by fly-half Jamie Lennard secured Doncaster Knights a British & Irish Cup Pool 8 victory over Llandovery.Victory for Clive Griffiths’ men saw them inflict the Drovers first defeat in this season’s competition and join the Welsh club in joint top spot ahead of this weekend’s return at Castle Park.
The Welsh Premiership side had the chance to draw first blood, but former Doncaster play-maker Cerith Rees, signed by Griffiths during his first spell in charge at the Doncaster club, missed with a long range penalty.
The fly-half made amends, however, on five minutes when adding the conversion to the game’s first try.
Scrum-half Rhodri Williams kicked through for winger Jake Randall, who showed great pace, to touch down for the opening score.
Knights recovered from their sluggish start and after their forwards had gone close to a try on several occasions, Lennard opened their account with a penalty. With Louis Silver, preferred to Chris Hallam at scrum-half, directing operations in the second quarter, Knights grabbed a 10-7 interval lead.
Silver’s grubber caught the Llandovery defence out and although the impressive Williams covered, his attempted clearance kick under pressure from winger Tyson Lewis fell nicely for on-loan Andy Symons, who touched down in the corner for a try converted from touch by Lennard. Knights bossed the exchanges in the third quarter, but handling errors and messy rucks prevented them adding to their tally.
Knights were reduced to 14 men on 54 minutes when hooker Rhys Buckley was sin-binned for stamping.
The game continued to be spoilt as a spectacle by the referee’s whistle, with Rees levelling the scores at 10-10 before Lennard restored Knights’ three-point advantage with a long range penalty around the 64 minute mark.
When prop Brian McGovern was sin-binned for not rolling away on 68 minutes, Rees again levelled the scores and the game looked to be heading for a draw.
But with Knights back to full strength, their forwards piled on the pressure and their efforts were rewarded in the dying seconds when they were awarded a penalty and Lennard held his nerve to secure his side the spoils.
Doncaster Knights: Braid, Flockhart, Tincknell, Symons, Lewis, Lennard, Silver, McGovern, Buckley (Sowery 68), Brookes (Francis 40), Challinor, Cadman (Hoy 50), Boyde, Bradford (Rawling 68), Pailor.
Pens: Lennard 3
Referee: Simon Harding