Carmarthen Quins 24 Cross Keys 17
The thought of five wins from the first five matches back in August was just a pipe dream. With a new Coach and several new young players joining the scene, it was in hope rather than certainty that this squad would gel so quickly.
Despite all the obstacles, the players have trained and worked hard, played hard and their defence has been superb. With three players away on Welsh Sevens duty it made little difference to the spirit and performance of this young squad.
Aled Thomas stamped his authority on the match as early as the first minute with a 30 metre penalty, only for his opposite number, Dorian Jones, to equalise minutes later with a similar kick. Cross Keys had come to play, but the Quins tackling was awesome, the visitors were moving the ball but making very little headway into Quins territory.
Pan Rushesha on the wing was able to make a telling break and take play up to the Keys line and from the ensuing line out Carwyn Jones gathered and his pack drove forward for Will Boyde to be credited with the try.Thomas failed to convert but the Quins were 8 – 3 ahead.
With both sides giving their supporters plenty to think about it was Dorian Jones who pulled three points back with his second penalty This led to the Keys having their best period in the match and from a sustained period of pressure skipper Adam Powell was on the end of a powerful surge to go over for a well taken try to put keys 11 – 8 ahead. Mid-way through the half Aled Thomas leveled matters with his second penalty.
The Quins eight had settled and were making headway with Gareth Thomas showing all his potential with powerful charges and, was only just stopped meters short after one such run. Both sides were intent on attacking play and this brought out the best of both defences.
Both sides were guilty of not releasing the ball in the tackle area and just before the interval Aled Thomas restored the Quins lead with his third penalty. Back came the visitors with a Dorian Jones penalty to level the scores for the third time
It was from the counter attack situation that both sides looked dangerous, and from one of these counter moves Aled Thomas was able to put over his 4th penalty restoring the Quins lead for the 4th time.
Mid way through the second period, and after a period of Quins pressure, Rhodri Wells gathered and found the powerful Jason Harries tearing up at speed to crash through two tackles to go over under the posts. Aled Thomas gave the Quins a ten point lead with the conversion. This meant the Keys had to play catch up rugby, but with the Quins defence not giving an inch, they struggled to make in roads into the Quins half. Despite being a man down the Quins pack refused to buckle and heroic work kept the visitors at bay.
With the game well into injury time Cross Keys were awarded a penalty and Angus O'Brien was on target to give then a deserved bonus point
This result takes the Quins above Pontypridd to top the Premier Division and can continue with a season that looks full of promise.
They are without a match for the next two weeks due to the B & I Cup, but will look forward to the away match with Bedwas on Saturday 26th October.
Report by Alan Bowen