A Step Back in Time Report – Carmarthen R.F.C. v Bleddyn Williams XV


(By Percy Jones)


(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)

17th April 1947


 A crowd of over 2,000 at Carmarthen Park on Thursday evening 17th inst. saw a team organised by Bleddyn Williams, the famous Welsh international three-quarter, defeat Carmarthen Quins ** by a converted goal and a try (8 points) to a try (3 points).

Bleddyn Williams was unable to take part in the game owing to injury but he kicked off. Because of unforeseen circumstances, only two of his selected side – Cliff Davies and St. John Rees both of Cardiff were on view and the visitors consisted mainly of Glamorgan Wanderers with a sprinkling of players from first class clubs in Wales.

The visitors can consider themselves fortunate for their win was due mainly to the shortcomings of the home team, who did not play up to their usual standard. The visitors took every advantage of mistakes by the home side and their scores were due to smart anticipation and superior speed and experience. The home committee selected the best scrummaging pack of the season. Individually and collectively they mastered their heavier opponents in almost all phases of the game. They did not, however, shine with their usual lustre in the open.

For three parts of the encounter, the Quins dictated matters but the backs lost many chances through faulty handling. Some of the three-quarters should, on occasions, have ran more direct for the line. Evan Thomas on the right wing had a good match and was the best back on view. His touchline dashes were a feature of the game. Jim Davies at full-back was below his usual form.

The Quins opened on the aggressive but could not penetrate a stout defence. Jim Davies failed with a penalty kick. Rex Iles, a Llandaff scrum-half did excellent for the visitors and a punt by Moelwyn Jones the home fly-half, carried the game to the corner flag. Reg Jones placed Evan Thomas in possession and the wing made a valiant effort being just short of success. From mid-field, John Jenkins of Neath and Welsh trials wing, intercepted and raced almost clear when he was overtaken from the rear by Glyn Davies the home captain.

Carmarthen maintained the offensive and a punt by Moelwyn Jones saw Gerald Johns (left centre) follow up and touch down.  The leather, however, had reached the dead ball line. When the Carmarthen backs looked in a promising attacking position in the visitors’ 25, the game underwent a sudden transformation. The opposition swept to the attack and St. John Rees (right wing) fielded a cross kick and scored a smart try. In mid-field, the home backs failed to control their handling with the result that Gwyn Martin (Cardiff and Welsh trials) snapped up an opportunity to intercept. He out-paced the opposition and scored a spectacular try which Derek Iles, the Llandaff outside-half, goaled. Against the run of play, territorially, the visitors were leading by 8 points to nil at half-time.

The ‘Quins commenced the second half in earnest and early on, Gerald Johns carved out a splendid opening in the face of much opposition and gave to Evan Thomas who got over in the extreme corner with a well earned try. There was no conversion. J. Comey was in a favourable position with the defence beaten after following a loose ball along the touchline. However, he elected to gather instead of giving a short kick ahead and a subsequent fumble ruined a promising chance to score. The home forwards continued their mastery and a penalty kick taken by Jim Davies hit the post. The visitors then raised the siege through Gwyn Martin and St. John Rees and a timely touch-kick by Leslie Bowen prevented a dangerous situation from developing. Final score:- Bleddyn Williams XV: one placed goal and one try (8 points) ; Carmarthen Harlequins one try (3 points).

** From 1874/75 to 1911/12 the club was known as Carmarthen Wanderers Football Club.  They were re-named Carmarthen Harlequins Rugby Football Club in the 1911/12 season. They remained as Carmarthen Harlequins (known as the ‘Quins’) until the 1946/47 season when the committee decided on yet another change of name to Carmarthen RFC – doing away with the term ‘Harlequins.’ Sports writers in local Newspaper reports continued for some time to refer to the club as Carmarthen Harlequins. Over time this changed to the ‘Quins’ and we continue to this day to be known by everyone as the ‘Quins.’