“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
SEASON 1957 / 58
This is a second report in a home programme for the 1957/58 season and what’s unusual when looking at match reports for this decade in the Carmarthen Journal, is how many games end up as scoreless draws and others being won or lost by 3 or 6 points. Match reports following such low scoring matches are likely to be very brief and would not therefore make interesting reading in our match programmes. As in the previous season, the weather around December/January played havoc with the fixture list and the Quins, along with all the other clubs in their Section of the West Wales League, had to re-arrange several mid-week games in April to fully complete their fixtures.
What is also noticeable is that some players make several appearances in a season but for whatever reason, were not present when the team photograph was taken. Looking at any team photograph does not therefore give you a complete picture of who figured for the Quins in any given season.
FINISHING ON A HIGH NOTE
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
CARMARTHEN, 12pts; CWMAVON, nil
12th April 1958
A well beaten side, one broken nose, a fractured ankle, together with a headache for the selection committee, was how Cwmavon left Carmarthen Park on Saturday.
They finished the game with only 13 men – without their right wing and centre and this proved too much of a handicap against a strong and youthful Carmarthen side. After only ten minutes of play right wing Randall Davies left the field holding a sponge to his bleeding nose. He was taken to hospital where it was found he had a broken nose. After only minutes of the second half had gone, another of the Cwmavon players was on the ground in agony. He was right centre Gwyn James who spent the rest of the game in the dressing room with his foot heavily strapped and with a likely fracture of the ankle.
There were numerous stoppages in the game for trainers to attend to injured players. It was a clean game and all the minor injuries were caused by tackles on the bone hard ground. The hard rutted ground not only took more than its fair share of casualties but played havoc with the bouncing ball.
Carmarthen fresh from their short but successful Easter tour of Ireland went straight into the attack and were on top from beginning to end. Their heavier pack was more than a match for Cwmavon and hooker David Jones was well on top in the set scrummages. But Carmarthen did not have everything their own way against the “game” 13 men for they were quite dangerous when they were given the chance. In the loose, Carmarthen’s Joe Davies, Noir Bryan and David Thomas were always in the middle of loose mauls and forward rushes.
GOOD DAY FOR WINGS
There was not a great deal of open play and this was surprising considering the ideal conditions. Both sides tried their hardest to give the ball some air but the moves just seemed to fizzle out. Centre three-quarter Les Jones’ touch kicking and place kicking was exceptionally good considering the stiff cross wind, but his handling and running with the ball was poor. Jones, who seems to have hit a bad patch this season, has played a lot of rugby and there is always the chance that he is a little stale.
Carmarthen had two god wings in 18 year old Graham Thomas and college student Derek Rees. On every occasion that they had the ball they went straight for the line and this was obviously the right thing to do. The Cwmavon back line had to be re-shuffled following the injuries and the subsequent weaknesses caused to the team by the players who had left the field. Between them the two young Quins wingers collected three tries and both came near to the crossing line several times but were bundled into touch near the corner flag.
Cwmavon cannot be entirely blamed for this defeat. They were two men short but they rallied together magnificently and prevented Carmarthen from scoring more tries. This is not to belittle Carmarthen’s performance for even during the few minutes that the visitors were at full strength it was the home side who dictated matters.
In the early stages of the game outside half Windsor Marks kicked Carmarthen into a strong position five yards from the Cwmavon line. They kept pegging Cwmavon down and for long periods the home three-quarters were strung out along the visitor’s line. Carmarthen were penalised and full-back Chilcott relieved the situation with a good touch. But back came the home side determined to score. A scrummage developed and Carmarthen had a quick heel. The ball travelled along the back row to winger Graham Thomas who evaded would-be tacklers and scored an unconverted try in the corner. It was not long before the home side were back on the attack and went further ahead after a similar move ended with Thomas again scoring in the corner. Les Jones’ conversion attempt fell just short. There was no change in the score up until half-time but Carmarthen continued to press.
Just after the resumption, Gareth Hughes (inside-half) dropped a spectacular 30 yard goal from near the touch line. There was no stopping Carmarthen who are finishing the season on a high note and it took three Cwmavon defenders to stop Derek Rees from going over the line. But just before the end, Rees did manage to cross over for a deserved try which was not converted.
It was an unhappy game for Cwmavon especially for two of their players to be “crocked” at the end of the season. But they forgot all their troubles after the game for they, together with their friends making a party of 48, went out to dinner in Carmarthen