“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
Sporting Diary by “Cardinal”
(By permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
In the November 30th 1962 edition of the Carmarthen Times (the Carmarthen Times was first published in 1962), it had individual photographs and player profiles of the 15 players picked by the Quins to play Loughor at the Park the following week, in one of the early rounds of the West Wales Rugby Union Cup.
“Full-back Royston Davies has given sound performances for the side and is a hard tackler. Tudor Lewis is probably the fastest in the League and has scored some spectacular tries this season.
Centre-threquarter Derek Lewis, who captained the side last season, is also a thrustful player. His partner Graham Thomas has not been a regular player in the side this season but it is hoped that he will fill the missing link in the threequarter line on Saturday. On the other wing, Nicky Halpin, a second team player until a few weeks ago, but he is proving himself to be a first team player.
Half-back Windsor Marks is well known for his menacing play and goal kicking. He holds the club’s individual points record which he gained last season. Windsor when on form is a match winner. Captain Keith Lewis guides his side well and has a good tactical approach to the game.
The two props Barrie Jackson and Handel Marks are a fine combination with Jackson always in the thick of things. At times, however, one feels that they could be giving better support to their hooker. Hooker Brian Davies gets a fair share of the ball on his day, but with better support could do better.
Heavyweight second-row forwards Joe Davies and Noir Bryan work hard with Joe Davies a fine player in the loose and Noir Bryan a line-out expert. Wing-forward Gwilym Beynon is undoubtedly one of the best forwards in the side, ably supported by Clive Evans and Gerald Davies.
ACTION PACKED CUP RUGBY
CARMARTHEN R.F.C., 6pts., LOUGHOR, Nil
Exciting, thrilling, tantalising – this stirring cup match had everything to warm the enthusiasm and quicken the pulse of even the most austere critic. Throughout it was an end to end display of action-packed rugby. Carmarthen fully deserved their six points and more. The blood-tingling forward rushes of their virile, rampaging pack had Loughor defending their line for long periods, but the visitors’ defence with an abundance of spirit and enthusiasm doggedly braved storm after storm until mid-way through the second half when Carmarthen broke through and scored the only try of the match.
Thrills poured forth and this encounter must mark as the best seen at Carmarthen Park for a long time. The Carmarthen pack got stuck in like eight sticks of dynamite and exploded with powerful impact on the Loughor mid-field men and delving into the mauls with relish and furious determination they had the beating of the Loughor eight.
But so tight was the rein held and so blanket-covering was the Loughor defence that every time Carmarthen came within five yards of the goal line there were very few gaps to go through. The Loughor defence ran, tackled and ran again in a heroic manner to blunt the edge of the constant attacks.
The lighter Loughor pack held their position in the tight but came second best in the loose where Carmarthen played with their usual undiminished vigour to carve their way through. Loughor could not compete with their flamboyant mood and were often reeling back like frightened toreadors. Half-backs Keith Lewis and Derek Lewis who was brought in at inside-half formed the spring from which many of the Carmarthen attacks were uncoiled.
Derek, who took over from Windsor Marks who withdrew because of illness, played with skill and enterprise and was a constant thorn in the Loughor defence with his deceptive solo breaks. His neat touch kicking when under pressure was superb. With the withdrawal of Windsor Marks, it meant that the side had to be reshuffled. Derek was switched from centre to take his place. Nicky Halpin was brought in at centre and Les Jones played on the wing.
These changes everybody thought would be a blow to Carmarthen’s cup hopes but Derek Lewis played his best match of the season and gave an almost faultless display except for the first tem minutes when he looked a little shaky. For the rest of the game his quick thinking and quick moving cleaved gaps in the Loughor defence.
Keith Lewis’ keen tackling and shrewd touch-kicking was at his elusive best, running with great determination. Both halves repeatedly and brilliantly broke away from the scrummages to thrill the fans with magnificent thrusting runs which had Loughor in knots. But Windsor Marks was sadly missed for penalty kicking. The three penalties from the “25” which out of form Royston Davies missed could have been vital points for victory, especially when the sides changed ends at level terms.
Loughor very rarely looked like scoring despite the tense atmosphere of the match. But when Carmarthen were only three points ahead with only about 15 minutes left for play, Loughor always looked capable of notching the equaliser and gaining an undeserved win.
Derek Lewis sank Loughor’s hopes with a 35 yard dropped goal which had everybody’s eyes looking skyward as it soared between the tops of the uprights. Loughor’s full-back Crahart and inside-half Borthwick caught the eye with some splendid touch kicking which played a vital role in gaining territorial supremacy. Borthwick never put a foot wrong and his cool confident touchfinders when under pressure were a pleasure to watch.
The fine performance by their defence kept the margin low. It would be unfair to single out a player in the Carmarthen pack. This was the best display this season given by the pack as a unit. Barrie Jackson, Handel Marks, Joe Davies, Noir Bryan, Gwilym Beynon, Clive Evans and Gerald Davies were like a bunch of live wires.
From the whistle Carmarthen tried to throw the ball about but Derek Lewis looked very shaky as he fumbled with the ball. Loughor cashed in on these errors and drove through after the loose ball. Loughor were looking very dangerous in the early stages but Carmarthen gradually worked their way down into the Loughor half of the field, but were peppered with some high kicks from full-back Crahart.
Both sides were depending on each other’s mistakes to break through and both sets of defence held firm. Carmarthen set the game alight with a threequarter movement but Les Jones was brilliantly tackled into touch. Carmarthen carried play into the Loughor “25” but however hard they tried they failed to score. They had a set-back when they were disallowed a push over try.
Royston Davies failed with three penalty attempts from the “25” and the sides changed round on level terms. It was all Carmarthen in the second half. With only 15 minutes to go, Keith Lewis broke away, weaved his way past three men, the ball went over the score line as he was tackled and centre Nicky Halpin followed up, beat two Loughor men to the touch down. Derek Lewis put the issue beyond doubt with a superb 35 yard dropped-goa