Llandovery took the Foster's National Sevens title from Pontypridd in a scintillating final at the BT sport Cardiff Arms Park.
The Drovers scored five tries to three in a 33-19 victory. With the sides tied 14-14 at half time, Richard Williams, Lee Rees and Rhys Williams all touched down in impressive fashion to help their club claim the first available silverware of the season. Llandovery centre Rhodri Jones also picked up the Colin Hillman Player of the Tournament award.
The pick of a good bunch was the first if those three. From a turn-over on Pontypridd's 22 metre line, Williams showed good supportive play and twice kicked the ball down field to chase and score, Rhodri Jones converting to take the score to 21-14 two minutes after the break. From that moment, it was an uphill struggle for Ponty and despite pegging back the score to 14-19 with a try for Dale Stuckey, Llandovery had the bit between their teeth.
Last year's losing finalists reached the final via a 43-0 win over Cardiff, a 12-5 quarter-final win over Aberavon and a hard-fought 19-17 semi-final victory over fellow Scarlets side Carmarthen Quins. Pontypridd looked the team to beat all day and after beating Cross Keys 31-10 in Round One, they recorded a 31-12 quarter-final win over Cardiff Met and beat an in-form Bridgend side 17-12 in the semis.
Llanelli brought further celebration for Scarlets supporters, winning the Plate by beating a Welsh Students side 50-29 in the final. The Welsh Students had played some impressive Sevens rugby all afternoon but Llanelli had too much to offer in the end. Wales Under 20 duo Steffan Evans and Josh Adams were regularly on the scoreboard throughout the day, and both touched down in the final, Evans scoring a hat trick to complete a memorable day.
Llandovery captain Matthew Jacobs said, "We're thrilled. We worked so hard as a team and stayed totally committed throughout a tough final, I'm really proud of the boys."
Jacobs admitted losing in last year's final spurred them on this time around. "Ponty taught us a lesson last year and we were determined to put that right. It was about time another club got their hands on some silverware!"
Coach Lyndon Lewis added, "It's been a brilliant day, the event has certainly grown since last year. We had some young players out there who performed well, as did the rest of the team. Rhodri Jones has been working very hard and deserved the player of the tournment accolade today. It's nice to get a trophy to kick off the season. We are going to celebrate this win and then continue to build as we head towards the start of the Principality Premiership season."
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
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