“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
1967 – 68 SEASON
31st DECEMBER 1967
“BASEY TWINS SHINE”
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
CARMARTHEN 6 pts., LLANDOVERY 3.
The Quins can count themselves fortunate at having collected both points from this West Wales League game on a bitter cold afternoon at Carmarthen Park last Saturday. The quality of rugby served up by both sides never once touched the standard which each side is capable of. Players can be pardoned for the handling errors owing to the extremely low temperature. This was a sluggish display by the Quins. They never settled down as a team and relied much too much on a few of their best performers. The line-out work was entirely shouldered by Clive Evans and Noir Bryan and the backing up of other members of the pack was inadequate to say the least.
Consequently, scrum-half Peter Evans was hardly ever given what is nowadays termed as “good ball” with the result that the Quins attacks were disjointed and on the whole unsuccessful. Fly-half Aubrey Davies was not at his best. The usually fluent cohesion between himself and Evans was not what home supporters have come to expect. Slow possession resulted in a hurried service which meant more often than not a hasty kick for touch. Centre Delme Davies had a good match proving to be a very hard player to pull down. It’s a pity that just a fraction of his determination did not permeate through to his team-mates up front.
Both the home wings Dai Dyer and Dewi George were opportunists, chasing every available loose ball in an attempt to steal a score. The excellent full back play of Ray Jones, the Llandovery captain, was the only obstacle between them and their goal on many occasions. Brian Furlong, the home full back performed well under second half pressure without attaining the brilliance of his opposite number.
Up front, it was the same for Llandovery. They relied too much on the high jumping Colin Evans to gain possession from the lines-out and although he was supported by David Whitney and Keri Bowyer, this trio gave only a limited supply of good ball to scrum- half Gary Evans. However, in contrast to Carmarthen, the visitors three-quarters, in which the Basey twins, Cliff and Colin and wing Mike Davies were outstanding, used every opportunity to run with the ball.
It called on some fine defence from the Carmarthen threes and their covering defence but Llandovery never gave up trying. In the tight, both packs were fairly evenly matched with the battle of the loose heads ending in a three to two win for Ken Richards of Llandovery. The loose play brought the best from this Llandovery team. They were much faster than their bulkier opponents, but they lacked a few fundamental skills which robbed them of possession from the rucks and mauls. Had they been able to gain cleaner and faster possession from loose scrums, then their talented backs could have won the match for them.
The scoring of the Quinn’s penalty right on half time was a gross injustice to the visitors. It made the first half score sheet absolutely senseless. After playing crisper rugby into the teeth of a wind, Llandovery were penalised for a scrum infringement on the halfway line. Far be it for me to contradict a referee, but, as the Llandovery players were retreating he whistled and strode a further ten yards up field. From this new point of advantage, Gwyndaf Jones kicked the Quins into an unjustified half-time lead.
The second half saw a transformation in the Quins’ side. They regained some of their poise and Aubrey Davies made some defence splitting runs, before being stopped. Delme Davies at centre made some fine individual bursts and Peter Evans also came into his stride with his own special brand of solo running. His only fault was a tendency to run across the field and crowd his three-quarters. One of his individual sorties led to Gwilym Beynon scoring what was once more a fortunate try.
This coming after 14 minutes of the second half finally woke Llandovery up and they began once more to take the initiative by running with the ball. Eight minutes later, after sustained pressure, Ken Richards got a well deserved, unconverted try to end the scoring. Try as they might, they failed to further penetrate the Quins’ defences in which Gwilym Beynon, Peter Smith, David Dyer and Dewi George were outstanding. George was called upon to make three try saving tackles on the speedy Mike Davies during the Llandovery pressure late in the game.
The pick of the Quins’ back division were David Dyer and Delme Davies, while the veterans of the pack Noir Bryan and Clive Evans shouldered most of the work up front.
For Llandovery, Colin Evans and Rusty Jones showed some good honest graft in the pack while the Basey twins, Mike Davies and Roy Jones performed splendidly behind the scrum.