THE problems that Cross Keys are experiencing on and off the field did not relent at Church Bank where the Drovers outscored them by seven tries to three, writes Huw S Thomas.

Llandovery had suffered a surprise 26-18 defeat at Pandy Park back in December but this was a comfortable home win against a Keys side that tried hard but were done for pace and precision by the high flying Drovers.

It will now take a miracle for Keys to stay in the Premiership. With just four games left, they are firmly ensconced in 14th place with a trip to Newport next on the agenda.

Keys had plenty of ball early on but could make little headway against a hard tackling defence.

Scrum half Dan Babos then kicked ahead on the half way line but was eaten to the ball in goal by the covering Aaaron Warren.

Llandovery came right back into the game and went ahead in the 18th minute when referee Bessant awarded a penalty try at a retreating Keys scrum.

Prop Scott Hoskins was yellow carded for collapsing the scrum before fly half Jacob Botica put the visitors into a strong position with a 60 metres touchfinder.

Nothing came from it but the Drovers went up the other end and scored their second try.

Centre and captain for the day Rhodri Jones broke through the middle before sending scrum half Dafydd Land in with an adroit reverse pass, fly half Jack Maynard converting.

Centre Tiaan Loots made things difficult for Keys when he was sent off for punching hooker Matthew Moore and within a minute Llandovery had got their third try.

Land’s neat grubber kick then worked in Warren wide out for and Keys were up against it against the free flowing Drovers backs..

To their credit, Keys worried the home defence with some attacks of their own, twice involving wing Wes Cunliffe before forcing a close range line out.

It unfortunately came to nothing to leave them trailing 19-0 at the break.

There was a glimmer of hope for the visitors when skipper Damien Welch skipped through from close range, Botica converting before Llandovery ran in two quick tries.

Lock Morgan Jones galloped in from 35 metres before leading try scorer Warren weaved over for his second try, Maynard converting.

Full back Matthew Hughes then raced away up the right to go over untouched before Maynard had a pass intercepted by Rory Budina and the Keys speedster ran 75 metres for a try converted by Botica.

Back came Llandovery for replacement Carwyn Evans to slip defenders for yet another converted home try and a 43-14 lead with 15 minutes to go.

Keys stuck at it manfully in the hope of scoring two more tries and salvaging a bonus point.

When Llandovery centre Ryan Evans was yellow carded, replacement scrum half Josh Guy dived over after his forwards had pounded the home line.

But it was not enough for Keys as Botica’s conversion was the last kick of the game.

Llandovery: M Hughes; R Williams, R Evans, R Jones (capt) (C Evans 59), A Warren; J Maynard, D Land; D Dallavalle (J Hughes 60), M Moore, L Green (B Watkins 60), R Jones, M Jones (S Worrall 49), I Rees, E Price, S Miles

Cross Keys: I Burgwin; R Budina, L Andrews (J Adams 70), T Loots, W Cunliffe (C Nichols h/t); J Botica, D Babos (J Guy h/t); G Carpenter, E Shipp, S Hoskins (R Cornock 30-50) J Rogers 76), T Lampard, D Welch (capt), J Thomas, G Price, C Johnsey (R Cornock 20-30) (M Ayling 56)

Llandovery Tries: A Warren (2), pen try, D Land, M Jones, M Hughes, C Evans Cons: J Maynard (3)

Cross Keys Tries: D Welch, R Budina, J Guy Cons: J Botica (3)