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Carmarthen Quins v Pontypridd

By Colin Clarke | 15/04/2013

Pontypridd 18          Carmarthen Quins 16

The Ponty Club never relish playing against the Quins and this match followed the same pattern. In the 16 matches played since we moved up to the Premiership League, both sides have won eight games each, by far the best record against the Pontypridd Club.

Once again a shaky start resulted in the Quins going ten points behind in the first five minutes, when Dan Godfrey was put clear to make 20 metres to cross for David Flanagan to convert.  The pressure from Ponty gave Flanagan the chance to put over a drop goal after 5 minutes giving their supporters the chance to air their well known chant and cause some concern for the Quins fans.

The Ponty fans were still chanting when Alex Pickersgill charged down a clearance kick and was able to follow up and score a fine try which went unconverted.

The Quins set piece was in control from the first scrum and this encouraged the Quins support and they were back in the game.  On the half hour Dan Newton slotted over a penalty reducing the Ponty lead to two points.  Both sides were keen to use tha ball and this brought out the solid defences that were the feature of the game. After 34 minutes Dai Flanagan put over a penalty only for this to be cancelled out when Dan Newton was on target with his second successful kick.  The Quins pack were encamped on the Ponty line and only desperate defence kept them out.

The interval was reached and despite playing into a more than stiff breeze, most would agree that the Quins were looking the better outfit.

With the wind to help, the Quins were able to use the elements to secure good ground, but the counter attacks from the Ponty side were always dangerous.  The taller Ponty pack were causing problems to the Quins line out, but it was the Quins eight that had the upper hand in the tight and loose where Gavin Evans, Ian Jones and Rory Gallagher were causing headaches for the Ponty team.  Despite the praise some Sunday Newspapers gave to the referee Gwyn Morris, he was guilty of missing some basic mistakes in his efforts to let the game flow.

Strange as it was the Ponty side were playing well into the wind just as the Quins had in the opening forty minutes, and after 67 minutes the Ponty pack won a line out and for the only time in the game they were able to gain ground for hooker Huw Dowden to crash over. The kick fell well short.

With just the one score in it the Quins threw everything into attack and play was kept to near the Ponty line for several minutes and it was just the over eagerness of the Quins that prevented a score, and the more street wise Ponty side were able to deal with this pressure.

With time running out, and the Quins in control, the ball finally reached James Dixon who was able to cross midway between the touch line and the posts, but in doing so he was knocked out and had to leave the pitch.  With Dan Newton off the field young Jack Maynard joined the game to entrusted with the vital conversion.  To everyones credit you could hear a pin drop in his preparation, but his attempt went wide and the Pontypridd side were in the Final, where they will take on Neath.

The Quins side were every bit as good as the Premier League champions on the day and with the youngsters available for next season, who knows what can be achieved. The Summer Months will give the Coaching Staff a chance to build on this seasons fine form.

With a visit to the Capital next Saturday the team can feel confident of a good performance and keep their sixth place in the League.


Reported by Allan Bowen

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