DONCASTER Knights suffered a last-gasp home defeat against Llandovery in their British and Irish Cup Pool 8 clash at Castle Park.
Knights had looked set to make it back-to-back wins against their Welsh opponents until a late try by Jack Roberts saw the visitors claim their third win in the competition in four games.
Knights’ boss Clive Griffiths made 10 changes to the team which edged a 16-13 win last week against the Welsh Premier Division outfit.
Knights opened the scoring after three minutes through a Jamie Lennard penalty.
Llandovery hit straight back with a well-worked try by Knights’ forward Bryn Griffiths. James Garland converted to make it 7-3. Knights got back in front when they were awarded a penalty try following a number of penalties against Llandovery in the scrum.
Llandovery hit back straight from the restart, hooker Luke Lewis diving over to grab a second try.
The lead changed hands again when Knights’ scrum-half Chris Hallam scored in the corner after a pick-up-and-go from a ruck.
Garland levelled with a penalty only for Knights to respond with a second Hallam try. The half-back dived over again in the left hand corner following a period of pressure.
Lennard, who had won the game in Wales with a similar kick, landed a fine touchline conversion to make it 22-15
Garland kicked another penalty with the last scoring action of the first half.
Doncaster suffered a setback at the start of the second half when winger Tyson Lewis was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.
Llandovery took advantage and capitalised on a loose Knights’ lineout when captain Lloyd Phillips raced away to score. Lennard missed the chance to regain Knights’ lead when he pulled a penalty wide.
Knights continued to dominate the forward exchanges and Llandovery prop Peter Edwards was sin-binned for collapsing the scrum.
From the penalty, hooker Rhys Buckley powered over from the lineout to secure Knights’ fourth try and earn them a bonus point. Lennard kicked another fine touchline conversion.
Llandovery centre Roberts scored a dramatic late try to to give them victory on their first visit to Castle Park.
Knights remain second in the four-strong pool but the Drovers look to be in the driving seat at the top of the pool with just two games left.
n Knights: Lennard, Mama, Simpson, Symons (Tincknell), Lewis (Flockhart), Braid, Hallam (Silver), Davies, Sowery (Buckley), Francis (McGovern), Hoy (Pailor), Parsons, Challinor, Bradford, Planchant. Unused rep: Rawling.