“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
Saturday 7th November 1998 at Carmarthen Park
Carmarthen R.F.C. 15 pts; Tonmawr, 12
(By permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
The Quins squeezed through to the third round after Julian Howells put over a penalty in injury time. A vastly improved Tonmawr side were determined that the 37-10 scoreline after their league encounter was not going to be repeated. The visitors had the wind in their favour but failed to take advantage with an early penalty. Running the ball out of defence the Quins took play from their 22 to the visitor’s 22 and tested their defence. Gareth ‘Bailey’ Jones made a dangerous break but the cover defence held.
More Quins pressure failed to activate the scoreboard and Tonmawr were allowed to counter attack and a dangerous kick that trickled over the try line was minored by Lee Lockwood and the danger was over. Tonmawr were winning good ball from the line out and when their skipper Mike Collier won a throw-in his pack were quick to make ground and force him over for a try.
The Quins’ backs were on top but could not penetrate a resolute Tonmawr. Rhodri Davies was always able to make a half break but the link could not continue and the half ended.
The Quins now had the wind and from the restart Julian Howells put the Quins close to the visitor’s line. From the line-out, Mike Davies gathered and it was the Quins’ turn to display their power and Graham Evans was helped over for a good try. The visitors were able to make ground with controlled rolling mauls and they took play up to the Quins 22. Their outside-half broke to the blind side and slipped the ball to Richard Livingston who crashed over for a try. Chris Jenkins made the conversion.
The Quins were lacking their usual confidence and were guilty of trying too hard, giving Tonmawr the chance to put in some threatening attacks. The local supporters were getting a little worried to say the least. The Quins pack were working well but getting nowhere. When the ball was with their backs, one could sense that something was going to happen and after making ground up the right, their pack retained the ball. Having committed the cover defence, the ball was moved quickly left and this slick handling gave Adrian Mason the chance to go over wide out. Julian Howells converted with a touchline kick to level the scores and set the scene for an interesting 15 minutes.
The Tonmawr defence was kept at full stretch and the Quins could not add to their score. Extra time was needed and more conscious moments for the home support. The Quins’ fitness and their strong list of subs gave them an advantage and early in the extra time, their promise was rewarded with a penalty and Julian Howells made light work of the kick to put the Quins in front for the first time.
Minutes later, Howells had another chance to increase his side’s lead but the tricky wind took his penalty attempt just wide. The plucky Tonmawr held on and even had a chance to level matters but Jenkins’ penalty attempt fell short. The Quins go through to the next round when they will play hosts to BP Llandarcy at the Park on November 28. Despite being without a League match the Quins stay on top of Section 3 West. `