Howard Evans (Llandovery Programme Notes)

Today, we not only welcome the Drovers players, committee and supporters, but we also welcome a side that plays good open rugby.

There have been several strong links between the two clubs and hopefully this afternoon we will see the return of James Garland, a man who gave his very best for the ‘Wizards’ as a player and a leader.

James began in brilliant fashion in a walloping of Cardiff only hours after I had told my wife that this young chap replacing the injured Jamie Davies would be in real trouble.

Instead, he almost beat Cardiff single-handed. Then, he was cruelly dropped after his last-second drop shot from 30 metres at Ebbw Vale had won us a tight match. He moved on, but luckily he was to follow Lyndon Lewis on the trail back to the TAG.

Lyndon, a former Aberavon captain, was not only at Vardre with James, but I believe he was a schoolmaster who taught his protege.

They were not the only ones who were at both clubs and of course, we have Howard Thomas back with us and picking up the brilliant coaching job he had started after ending his playing career.

Many other Llandovery names come to mind on and off the pitch. Iestyn Thomas was a splendid player and coach, the Williams brothers, Huw S.Thomas, Gareth Salt (a good, honest man), the incredible Handel Davies, who has not yet entered the Tour de France, but who probably looks to outspeed Les Keen and Ray Giles.

Aberavon should have signed No 8 forward Richard Brooks from Bonymaen, but our loss was Llandovery’s gain.

I must say a word for the Aberavon squad, who, despite injuries, have started in fine fashion. Obviously, I hope it continues today, but it will be no easy ride.

Let’s hope for a real thriller.