“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
CENTENARY SEASON 1974 -75
Celebration matches against several invitation teams were played during the club’s centenary season with a game against the Metropolitan Police XV being one of them. We did not have any photographs at the club of the police team neither were there any records of the names of the players who turned out for the police.
Following an e mail to the Metropolitan Police Press Office about six years ago, I received a telephone call from the editor of the force’s monthly magazine for retired officers. She offered to include my e mail in the letters page of their magazine.
A few weeks later I received a telephone call from a Mr Geoffrey Harries living in Banffshire, Scotland. Mr Harries told me that he had read my letter in their monthly magazine. He told me that he was a serving officer at the Mets’ when the Metropolitan Police Rugby XV played the Quins at Carmarthen Park in 1975. He said he had been one of the team’s officials who had travelled with the team to Carmarthen.
Mr Harries explained that he had in his possession a Police diary for 1976 and that in this diary was a photograph of the team which had played at Carmarthen the previous year. He added that the names of all the players had also been included. He said he had two copies of the diary and was willing to send one on to me. It’s by that stroke of luck that we now have on display at the club a photograph of the Metropolitan Police XV.
Mr Harries and his wife along with their closest friends, turned up at the park one Saturday last season when the Quins were playing at home and I was delighted to have had the opportunity to personally thank him for the efforts he had gone to on our behalf.
Who knows, perhaps one day someone will also come up with a photograph of the Captain Crawshay’s XV whom we had played against the previous week which continues to elude us!
POLICE POWER CRACK QUINS
Carmarthen Quins 13pts; Metropolitan Police XV 34.
By Roger Phillips – Carmarthen Times
Carmarthen had the candles on their centenary year birthday cake snuffed out by a powerful and all-action Metropolitan Police team on Easter Monday.
The London bobbies’ massive pack plodded a little at the start but once they worked up a sweat, there was little Quins could do to contain them. They won the tight pieces with consummate ease and their speed in the loose proved a decisive factor in a sparkling second half that produced 22 points, England Under 23 wing Steve Tiddy and full back Roger Allison were the men who really sunk Quins. They were responsible for scoring all the ‘Met’ points.
Tiddy, an elusive runner, finished with a hat-trick of tries and Allison cornered the other 22 points with two tries, two penalties and four conversions. As was expected, Quins got off to the better start and were ahead after only a minute. They took play right to the police line and hooker Richard John wriggled out of a maul to touch down at the posts. Full back Gary Baker converted. Before the police had a chance to recover, fly half Colin Davies split their ranks with a probing run and centre Robert Taylor took up the move to send wing David Dyer thundering over from 30 yards. After Allison and Baker had each kicked penalties, the police began to fire on all cylinders. The pack smashed gaping holes in the Quins defence and the threequarters created havoc with swift handling moves and electrifying solo runs.
Steve Tiddy gave Quins a warning of what was to come when he ghosted through for a corner try. Allison converted and just before the interval cut the deficit to 13-12 with a penalty. The second half was one-way traffic and it was the police who controlled it. The ball was whipped along the line at every opportunity and poor tackling by Quins allowed the visitors to run in four splendid tries. Tiddy got the first two and Allison weighed in with a pair. The bustling full back crowned a fine game by kicking three conversions and a penalty. The pick of a disappointing Quins team were Robert Taylor, Peter Evans, Jeff Williams and Graham Walters.