Swalec Cup match
Narberth 15 Carmarthen Quins 36
The Narberth Ground Staff had performed wonders to get this match on when for the second week running many other ties were put off due to the weather.
The Quins made 4 changes in their back line but still put in a powerful performance. The wind was going to be a telling factor and in the first minute an up and under was fumbled by Johnny Morgan and Alex Pickersgill was able to tap on and win the race for the touchdown, the conversion narrowly missed. Two minutes later from an alleged late tackle James Russell pulled three points back for the home side.
Play was confined to the home 22 with the forwards battling it out, and when the Quins were awarded a penalty, Quick thinking from Rory Gallagher gave him the chance to pass on to the powerful Rheon James who crashed over for a well taken score, again the conversion sailed by.
More pressure from the Quins led to Haydn Pugh kick through for a line out near the home line. On winning the throw in the visitors pack controlled this possession and Scrum half Rhodri Wells was able to sneak over for a try. James Dixon converted
The Narberth backs with some clever handling skills drove play into the Quins 22, but they lost control of the ball and the visitors began a counter attack to produce the try of the match. The ball was moved left and after Dixon, James, Dylan Morgan and Alex Pickersgill had handled, Chris Banfield was on hand to make the final twenty yards, to score a wonderful try which James Dixon converted.
The home side were visibly tiring and right on the half time whistle Rheon James broke through two tackles to slip the ball to Rhodri Wells to go over for his second try, James Dixon ended the half with the conversion - with the Quins comfortably ahead by 31- 3.
The home side had the use of the strong wind in the second half, and were able to keep play in the visitors half for the opening ten minutes and Outside half Stuart Morris broke a tackle to touch down under the posts. James Russell took the home side into double figures with the conversion. This score seemed to spur the home side on and after more pressure near the Quins line, the referee awarded the Home side a penalty try, only for Russell to miss the conversion. This score galvanised the Quins pack into their usual pattern and they were able to win and keep the ball from most of the rucks and line out, forcing the Narberth side into desperation moves which were always held. A comeback by the home side was only a threat as the experience of the Quins team which was added to by the return of Andrew Thomas in the back row.
The fitness of the Quins led to them dominating in the last five minutes and from this they were able to move the ball right for the ever alert Chris Banfield to go over for his second try and a place in the draw for the next round.
Considering the playing conditions, both side played well and Narberth can look forward to their run in and stay near the top of the WRU Championship.
The Quins are now putting in some sterling performances and they too can look forward to the rest of the season.
Reported by Alan Bowen