Neath 33 Carmarthen Quins 36
In a St Davids Day match that had 8 tries it lacked nothing and the enterprise of the players gave both sets of supporters an exciting afternoon right up to the final whistle.
The Quins scored in the opening minute and the last, to take the League points and stay top of the Premier Division.
The home side kicked off only to see the Quins gather and send back a high kick into the Neath half. Two opposing players went for the ball and it spilled loose, the ever alert Rhys Williams was on it and his pace took him the 40 meters to cross under the posts. Craig Evans converted. Minutes later a Quins break saw Jason Harries make 40 meters to be stopped inches short. Play was fast and furious and after 10 minutes Quins power play took play up to the home line and slick handling resulted in Ellis Phillips powering over. Craig Evans added the conversion. More Quins pressure resulted in them winning a penalty for Evans to put over and a 17 point lead that was a perfect start to the match
Neath were not prepared to lie down and their backs put in a dangerous move for wing Ceri Young to score wide out. The Quins squandered a couple of try scoring chances with wrong decisions, but it was Craig Evans who steadied things with his second penalty. These missed chances were to haunt the Quins as they could have sewn the match up in the opening half. Neath responded with two tries by Dale Price and Ceri Young either side of Craig Evans 3rd penalty to send the Quins into an interval lead of 23 -19.
Four minutes into the second half Rory Gallagher crashed over for Evans to increase the Quins lead.
This signalled a Quins lapse in concentration and skipper Ian Jones was red carded for retaliation. His replacement Trystan Davies was yellow carded at his first set piece leaving the Quins down to 13 men, and the Quins were up against it. Former Quins player Alec Jenkins went over for the home side and Dale Price brought the home side back to within 4 points with the conversion. Fortunately Craig Evans put over his 4th penalty to ease matters
With still 20 minutes to go the Knoll crowd chanted the familiar 'Neath Neath' and things looked ominous for the Quins. Their chants paid off as Ceri Young went over for his third try and Price levelled the scores at 33 all. The Quins were back to 14 players and this is when they showed their true character.
Their depleted scrum was able to hold and contain the Neath eight and with time running out they drove play into the home half and secured a penalty. Up stepped the in-form Craig Evans to send the ball soaring through the uprights and minutes later the referee heralded this important win for the Quins. Euros Evans made a powerful return to the Knoll and was well received. The Quins front row were a little to experienced for the home front Row and Ellis Lloyd was a real terrier with his all action display
They are three points clear of the second Club and Evans 21 points takes his seasons tally to 144. Next week they travel to Pontypridd in what could be a title decider.