A Step Back in Time Quins v Aberafan Home 80/81

(By Percy Jones)

Photographs of the teams that played in the 1980/90 decade can be seen in the main match programme.

SEASON 1980 -81

8th September 1980

Carmarthen Quins 7 pts.;   Aberavon 17pts

(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)


Battling Quins produced their own brand of second half magic to break the Wizards spell in this charity clash at the Park. The match was staged to raise money for the family of Aberavon prop Barrie Lewis, who was tragically killed in a road accident last year.

After being on the receiving end in the first period, Quins found their rhythm and were only denied the chance of an upset by handling mistakes. Several times they were held up on the line from short penalty moves in front of the Aberavon posts.

Quins, on the wrong end of an opening West Wales League defeat at the hands of Seven Sisters on Saturday, looked to be strong contenders for a hiding at the start of Monday’s game. Fly half Mike Lewis shot Aberavon into the lead with a fourth minute penalty and in the 20th minute, second row forward Adrian Owen charged over after a smartly taken tap penalty had caught the Quins napping. Lewis was on target with the conversion.

By now it was all Aberavon. Three-quarter movements flowed and it was only poor handling that prevented further scores. In the end Aberavon had to settle for a push-over try by burly number eight Ritchie Davies. Lewis added the extra points.

Quins made it 15-3 with a penalty by fly half Dylan Richards but Aberavon replied almost immediately with a similar effort from Lewis. With the half time score at 18-3 everything was pointing to a runaway victory for the first class giants. But Quins had other ideas!

An initial flurry of Aberavon activity featuring slick passing movements frittered out as Quins turned the tables. Aberavon were forced to defend as the Quins, urged on by a large crowd, sent in a wave of attacks. Not even a try by right wing Mike Owen could dampen the Quins enthusiasm and they also ignored two penalty goals in front of the posts in the quest for tries.

However, they failed at a crucial time in the game to get over the Aberavon line due to too many handling errors. In the end they did break down the defence to score the best try of the match. Geraint Griffiths, Peter Ward and Peter Jenkins took play down the left and a clever switch in direction found Richards in support. He weaved a path through the cover defence for a perfect try. Owens’ touchline conversion hit the cross-bar.

Despite the defeat Quins must have been pleased with the performance of the pack. Peter Elsom, Wayne Eldred and Phil Withers showed up well in the linesout while Keith Evans, Dai Woodhead and Kevin Bowen were impressive in the tight.