“A STEP BACK IN TIME” (By Percy Jones) SEASON 1963/64

8th November 1963

 Carmarthen 3 pts  –  Tumble 3 pts.

(By Paul Jones)

Carmarthen forwards, who put a stamp of authority on this game after Windsor Marks had kicked them ahead within five minutes, lost their grip a minute before half-time when Tumble equalised with a try from a foot rush, a score which Carmarthen should never have allowed to materialise.

Up until then there was no shadow of doubt that Carmarthen were on top, for Tumble were on the defensive for long blistering spells. From the beginning the wall of black and white shirts, which have already won the cup six times, fell back and back. For over half an hour they were held in their own pasture except for an occasional break-away. During that period and right through the game it was the accurate boot of full back Tony Rees and scrum half Dickie Jones which saved the day. Jones was like a master puppeteer. Every string he pulled served exactly the right purpose.


The Carmarthen pack worked like a highly tuned dynamo, boosted by the non-stop efforts of Barrie Jackson. Often Tumble were glad to see the ball booted into touch for comfort, for a breather, for temporary safety from the controlled ferocity of the Carmarthen forwards. A break-away by Tumble aided by some poor tackling from Carmarthen, saw the cupholders in the Carmarthen half of the field and a foot rush enabled wing forward Ieuan Rees to gather and touch down.

This was the turning point of the game. The set-back knocked a little confidence from Carmarthen, but was just the tonic Tumble needed. Carmarthen could not hit back with their first half domination. Tumble winning more of the ball from the lines-out and set pieces came right back into the game and the result could have gone either way. The nearest thing to a try came from Carmarthen when Tumble’s full back fumbled with a high kick – his first mistake and Windsor Marks’ hand was only a foot or two away as the ball rolled from his grasp to the relief of the Tumble supporters, who a moment earlier, must have had cold shivers going down their spines. The game was far from spectacular, the ball being more outside the touch line than inside it. But as always in these cup matches, the supporters forget about frills as long as their team wins.


Despite the slow heeling of the ball, Carmarthen could and should have given their backs a few more opportunities, especially when they were on top in the first half. Line-out specialists, Howard Davies and Hedley Evans were surprisingly well-beaten by the Barrie Jackson – Noir Bryan move which was mainly responsible for holding Tumble in their own half. But in the second period it was a different story with Tumble getting the ball more often and Carmarthen, with their backs to the wall, had a taste of their own powerful medicine.

When the ball was not out of play, most of the time was spent with a tremendous duel between the packs. Barrie Jackson, Clive Evans, Noir Bryan, Delme Davies and Gwilym Beynon gave a fine display of power rugby for Carmarthen with Howard |Davies, Hedley Evans, Len Griffiths, Paul Griffiths and Barrie Tudor fighting like lions for Tumble.

Scrum half Keith Lewis did not have too comfortable a first half but it was his first game after being out for a few weeks with an eye injury. In the second half, however, he came more into his own and sparked off one movement which looked very dangerous. Full back Royston Davies, in his new role at centre did what he had to do well and broke through on one occasion with great purpose and I feel if he had more of the ball in the first half, when Carmarthen were pressing inside the Tumble “25” he could well have broken through.

Carmarthen and Tumble drew two more games 3-3 and 0-0 with the Quins eventually winning in the fourth encounter by 5-3. The Quins beat Llandybie in the semi-final but lost 8-0 against Pontardulais in the final at Stradey Park.