A STEP BACK IN TIME
(By Percy Jones)
Sporting Diary by “Cardinal.”
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
BATTLE OF THE PACKS
24th October 1953
Carmarthen, 3pts; Briton Ferry, Nil.
Throughout this game Carmarthen were on top and deserved to win by more than a mere penalty goal. There was nothing spectacular about the encounter, it was just one of those hard battles between the two packs. At times the “battle” was only too real due to some questionable actions. The forwards played with vigour and in the tight scrummages and lines-out Briton Ferry were the better, but they lacked the fire of Carmarthen in the loose. Carmarthen contributed some spirited forward rushes, both with the feet and in handling. In these movements, that had the Ferry defending desperately, second row forward Ieuan Jenkins was well to the fore.
At full-back, J. L. Jones played extremely well. His fielding was safe and his kicks to touch were sure. A new right wing, Harold Griffiths, had plenty of pluck and “football sense” but unfortunately, lacks the speed of a wing man. Outside-half C. Lewis, playing his second game for Carmarthen did well cutting through and using the punt ahead to advantage.
Carmarthen swung right into the attack from the beginning and Ferry had to defend for a considerable time. The Carmarthen back division made commendable efforts and if one of Griffiths’ qualities had been speed a try would have been certain. To be fair to Griffiths, however, the near try was due entirely to his own initiative. A penalty was awarded Carmarthen but J. L. Jones’ attempt was wide of the mark. A little later J. L. Jones tried again with a penalty kick awarded 40 yards out and this time he made no mistake to put Carmarthen three points up.
This reverse saw the Ferry fighting back and they had a fair share of the ball. At this juncture following a line-out, forward Peter Hart was injured and was taken off for attention. He resumed some time later. Although playing only fourteen men, Carmarthen had the visitors back on their line but the situation was relieved by the Ferry full-back J. Thomas.
During the second half Briton Ferry began to show their mettle and looked quite dangerous. It was only a “mark” in time that prevented the visitors from equalising. There seemed to be no slackening in the pace of the forwards and although there was little open play, the struggle proved quite interesting. When a srummage collapsed, Peter Hart was again injured and had to be taken off. The game was in its closing stages and he did not come back. Again Carmarthen only had fourteen men i.e. seven forwards against a pack that was pushing them off the ball. Undismayed the home team endeavoured to increase their lead and only by constant pressure confined the Ferry to their own half until the final whistle.