Carmarthen Quins 26 Leinster 24
The Irish side arrived at the Park with an undefeated record in this competition, and expected to carry this formidable record going.
The playing conditions were wet and slippery aided by a powerful wind blowing towards the Town. On winning the toss, the Quins gave the advantage to the Visitors for the opening half and after four minutes Cathan Marsh gave the Irish side the lead with 35 meter penalty.
The Quins set piece was solid from the start, and this was to be the difference between the sides.
After 10 minutes Frazier Climo levelled matters with a 35 meter penalty. A couple of powerful scrums encouraged the home support, but it was Marsh who regained the lead for Leinster with his second penalty from 40 meters. The strength of the wind meant that play was in the Quins half for long periods and from a quick heel and some slick handling centre Sam Coughlan Murray slipped in near the posts. Marsh added the conversion. Despite the powerful wind the Quins were able to take play into the Visitors 22 only to be thwarted by desperate clearance kicks assisted by the elements. From another surge up to the Irish line they were awarded a kickable penalty but elected for a scrum and unfortunately were pushed off the ball and a scoring chance was lost. Marsh increased the Leinster lead with a 48 meter kick.
Back came the Quins and drove play up to the Visitors line and again a desperate clearance kick aided by the wind ran up to the Quins line and when the Quins defence tried to run out of trouble the ball went loose and Josh Van Der Flie was on hand to pick up and touch down completely against the run of play. The kick failed but the visitors had gained a 21 - 3 interval lead.
Normally this score line would be a match winner but the half time talk certainly spurred the Quins side on and they were quick to respond with a first minute penalty by Climo. From the best move of the match and with several of the Quins players expertly handling, play stormed up to the Leinster line only for a dropped pass preventing a certain score. From this pressure and clever control Keiran Hardy was able to out think the Irish defence and work the ball left for Steffan Evans to find space to cross for a brilliant try. Frazier Climo converted. Their spirits up the Quins outshone the Leinster side with both scrum and line out working well giving the visitors very little chance to get any advantage. Two quick penalties by Climo brought the Quins to within 2 points of the Leinster score and an exciting final few minutes were expected. Close to time Leinster were awarded a penalty which Marsh duly obliged, and to all the match looked over. All but the Quins pack, who put in a magnificent surge that made 40 yards with a controlled rolling maul taking play into the Gas Works corner and Prop Ben Leung crashing over for the vital try, levelling the scores.
You could hear a pin drop as Frazier Climo lined up the conversion. Four steps and a controlled swing saw the ball sail between the uprights signalling a famous victory for the Quins and a place in their long history.
They had beaten a full professional side and took their unbeaten record with a thoroughly deserved win, and for the second week running had called on four local players to overcome the odds.in the second half after being nearly down and out.
Next Saturday the Quins play hosts to the City slickers Cardiff at the Park where it is hoped the Quins will be at full strength.