1968/69 v Pontyberem (H)


 9th NOVEMBER 1968


 (By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)


(By Roger Phillips)

Carmarthen 16-0 up at half-time, looked set to hand out the hiding of all hidings. But lethargic Pontyberem, who were boring to watch, hung on desperately in the second half and only conceded five points. Carmarthen gained authority from the start and the ability of their forwards to exploit broken play proved decisive. Their backs, vastly superior to the visitors, provided some exciting flashes with crisp handling movements and knife-edged breaks which cut the Pontyberem defence to ribbons.

Carmarthen rocked Pontyberem after three minutes. Wing forward Delme Davies gathered the ball on the 25 and split the defence before switching and linking with his forwards. The ball was moved along until it reached umber eight Dai Thomas who breezed over wide out. Full-back Brian Furlong just failed to convert.


Carmarthen cut loose and raided the Pontyberem line relentlessly but were kept at bay by desperate tackling. The forwards, particularly prop Anthony Thomas, lock Jeff Williams, flanker Del Davies and number eight Dai Thomas were in the thick of play at all times and provided a good ball for inside-half Peter Evans to set the backs in motion. Furlong had a chance to increase Carmarthen’s lead in the 19th minute but his penalty attempt was just wide.

However, in the 21st minute, centre Peter Herbert zipped through the Pontyberem defence with a burst of acceleration which left the opposition standing, before passing to Phil Hodgson. He put winger Spencer Jones over in the corner with a well-timed pass. Furlong kicked a superb conversion from a wide angle. Fly-half Peter Jenkins had two chances in a short space of time to reduce the arrears for Pontyberem but both his penalty attempts were off target. Near half-time tireless Del Davies scored a superb try after a solo effort. From a scrum near the half way line he drove the ball upfield before scooping it up. He slipped several tackles on his way over for an un-converted try.


 Early in the second half Peter Jenkins had another chance to open his side’s account but again failed with a 30-yard penalty attempt. Jenkins had no success with a further two kicks. Lock Humphrey Lewis crossed for Pontyberem’s only try after a mistake by Carmarthen. Jenkins was switched to the more orthodox run-up converted. The ‘Quins’ soon forgot this lapse and were unlucky not to score shortly after. Full-back Brian Furlong slotted in with the threequarters and jinked his way through before passing to number eight Thomas who crashed over wide out. But Carmarthen’s jubilance was short lived when the referee disallowed the try and ordered a scrum back. But Carmarthen scored from this when Peter Evans caught his opposing scrum-half in possession and Del Davies was on hand to gather and crash over for his second try which Furlong improved upon.