A STEP BACK IN TIME
(By Percy Jones)
CARMARTHEN HARLEQUINS v. SWANSEA BAYCLIFFE.
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
24th October 1913
The above match was played on Saturday last on the Harlequins’ Ground, and proved a very interesting and enjoyable encounter, being fought out in the best of spirit. The afternoon was beautifully fine and attracted a large crowd. Mr. Hughes. Llanelly, held the whistle.
Carmarthen set the ball rolling and Swansea returned, the ball going to touch over the halfway line. A line-out ended in a melee, and from a scrum Swansea heeled cleanly, but the Quins were out for nipping movements in the bud, with the result that they did not have many chances of making openings. Swansea now pressed, but. a nice overhead kick by H. Thomas and good following up on the part of Del Evans had the effect of changing the venue. The ‘Quins initiated a bout of passing, and H. Thomas, the last to receive, kicked to touch near the visitors’ 25. After a series of passings the visitors warded off danger by means of a. forward dribble, which regained for them all lost ground. The homesters were now losing ground in the line-outs. but covered up this defect by consistent, heeling in the scrums, thus providing several excellent opportunities for the backs, who were not slow m turning them into admirable account, and relief came several times this way. Samuels came into prominence and had made a nice opening, but Gwynnne Lewis failed to take the transfer. The visitors relieved with a kick. Dick Watson, the home full-back, made a mark and J. J. Lewis’s touch- finder placed the Quins on the attack, and H. Thomas came very near scoring in the corner. A Swansea dribble now threatened danger, and when one of the front rankers picked up the ball with throe others in attendance, a score seemed imminent, but deadly tackling by the home team warded off the attack. Midfield was scene of some fierce scrummaging. Swansea were awarded a free kick, which H. Thomas caught nicelv and going on his own, dodging several of the opponents, scored a lovely try for the Quins, amidst the enthusiastic cheering of the home supporters. More intense was the excitement when J. J. Lewis placed the leather over the uprights. Soon after the drop out Henry Thomas fielded and following up tackled a Baycliffe man and took play to the visitors’ 25. Bancroft, the visitor full-back, knocked on and a scrum was formed near the line. Swansea were given a “free” and gained a considerable slice of ground, their forwards pressed hotly and placed the homesters in their own Territory, but not for long as Gwynne Lewis came into prominence and breaking through the defence carried play to midfield. Another pretty bout of passing was seen between Samuels and Gwynne who by transferring the leather to one another carried play to the visitors line, and had verv hard lines in not scoring. The visitors were awarded a free kick for “legs up” which considerably relieved matters. Soon after Baycliffe covered a good slice of ground with a rush, only to retrace their footsteps with a nice touch-finder bv Diek Watson. Swansea again rushed, but a nice kick by J. J. Lewi- improved matters, and gradually the scene of activities changed, a scrum being formed near the visitors’ 25 line. Play was taken to mid- field when the whistle went for half-time, the score being: Carmarthen Harlequins. 1 converted goal (5 points) Swansea Baycliffe, nil.
Swansea restarted and after some rough play the visitors started a bout of passing, H Thomas intercepted and carried play to the 25. Baycliffe relieved with a nice touch-finder. After several bouts of passing by the Quins excitement ran high, and seemed all odds on a score. There was a short delay, one of the Swansea men being slightly injured. From a scrum the leather was sent out to Gwynne, who made a grand dash for the line, only to ground short by a matter of a few inches. The Quins at this stage were playing a fine game and deserved to score. A mark made by a visitor, and following up worried the home defence and forced a minor. Swansea still pressed, but the Quins were not long in driving them back to their own territory, where they were penned in for a time. Swansea now broke away with a forward rush, but Ley saved the situation and J. J. Lewis and Martin after some very pretty passing had hard lines in not crossing line. A series of scrums were wayed in midfield, and a. short delay was caused owing to a Swansea man receiving an injury. Soon after Baycliffe covered a good slice of ground by a rush, but here Dick Watson effected a beautiful save and kicked well into touch. From a scrum the Quins obtained possession, and commenced a bout of passing, but a knock-on prevented them from crossing. One of the visiting forwards made a mark which very much relieved matters. The home team were awarded a free “for leg” up. J. J. Lewis the kick, and a Swansea man returned. The visitors made a rush and Gwynne Lewis and Martin going down for the ball, knocked their heads against each other. Gwynne was knocked out but he soon resumed, and a combined movement saw H. Thomas bowled into touch near the visitors’ 25 where the battle was again waged. Swansea were relieved by Bancroft, their full-back, finding touch with a well-judged kick. Carmarthen were now penalised for offside play, and the visitors were thus- enabled to take up sin attacking position, but the next minute the home backs got going gradually. Play was however again waged in the territory. Up to now Swansea had been penned ill their own 25 and the invaders evidently deserved a score. After some interesting play the Quins were still pressing, when the whistle went for full time with the score:
Carmarthen Harlequins, one converted goal 15 point – Swansea Baycliffe, nil
Of the forwards Del Evans. Harries, and Charlie Davies were seen to be most prominent. Martin, who played his first game with the Quins, has plenty of speed wing, and will be an asset to the team. Samuels as inside-half is a great acquisition to his side, and to my mind his predecessor will be by no means missed.