“A STEP BACK IN TIME’
Noir Bryan was to captain Carmarthen Quins in what was an up and down season. They were
unbeaten in the league until mid-November when they lost 5- 6 away at Cwmllynfell. Having
been to two fina1s and one semi-final in the West Wales Rugby Union Cup in the previous
three seasons without a trophy to show for their efforts, they made an early exit from the cup
this year having beaten Skewen 11-3 in the first round but losing 8-3 in a replay to
Ammanford in the second round having drawn the first game 3-3.
The teams which featured against the Quins in the 1964/65 Season were:-
League – played 17; won 10: lost 3: drawn 4 against:-
Ystalyfera; Kidwelly; Llangenxech Llandeilo; Cwnrllynfell; ; Seven Sisters; Ammanford;
Llandybie and Bynea
Friendly matches – played 17; won 9; lost 6; drawn 2:
Against:- Tenby; Cefneithin: Pontybererm; Llanharan; Carms & Cards Police; Pembroke Dock;
Llandybie; Tredegar Ironsides: Old Tiffinians; Old Vaseyans and Haverfordwest.
Cup matches against:-
Won at home to Skewen in the first round but lost 11-3 in a replay to Ammanford in the
second round after drawing the first game 3-3.
Carmarthen 3Pts, Ammanford 3Pts.
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
Carmarthen Times 11th December 1964
The mud and greasy ball saw to it that great expectations went unfulfilled in this match
(writes Paul Jones). A threequarter movement was a rare luxury. The Quins paid the penalty
of failing to vary their play plus the fluffing of one or two easy penalties. One had to see to
believe how a side could be on top for so long without producing a try. But the Quins showed
a lack of genuine creative qualities to press home their territorial supremacy.
The longer the game went on the more competent the Ammanford defence became in dealing
with Carmarthen’s scrum-kick-lines-out-kick pattern of play. Ammanford’s spoiling tactics
effectively smothered Carmarthen’s power play. The harder the Carmarthen forwards plugged
away, Ammanford enveloped every trust more efficiently. They did not play a paricularly
conspicuous part in attack. But on the occasional Carmarthen break-down they could have
easily got the vital score.
For Ammanford a draw was a good result and one had the impression that the will to avoid
the Quins from winning and force a replay at Ammanford seemed far greater than their will to
turn defence into attack. Carmarthen’s scrum-half Malcolm Protheroe’s touch-kicking was
unfaulted as he nursed his pack to territorial command, but it was a little overdone and
slammed the lid on any variation in play’
The Quins back row was far superior then their opposite numbers and it would have paid
better dividends if the high punt had been used more often. On the one occasion in the first
half when centre Keith Lewis did employ this method, Delme Davies almost caught the
Ammanford defence napping. Ammanford lacked the power of Carmarthen’s pack but their
defence showed plenty of resource and determination to prevent Carmarthen from capitalising
on their own forward play.
The Quins started off triumphantly. Keeping the ball tight they instituted some rousing rushes
downfield. The game flared with some of those glittering dramatics. Windsor Marks put over
a magnificent drop-goal. But that was all the thrills we were to see. But despite the fact that
the rest of the game was confined to the forwards for most of the time it was a battle of
Ammanford got their equalising score with a penalty goal before half-time.
Ammanford 8pts; Carmarthen 3Pts.
The heavier Carmarthen pack which dominated the game at Carmarthen Park failed again to
get the better of a closely-knit rearguard which anchored down the Quins’ power play. The
side, without skipper Lyn Griffiths, rose magnificently to the occasion to give a competent
all-round display. Their pack gave away a few stones in weight and experience, but they made
up for it with mobility and determination.
On a muddy ground the ball squirted about like an orange pip. Ammanford refused to be
rocked off their heels after a very bad defensive error on their part which lead to an early
Carmarthen score. Chasing up a kick ahead from the half way line, wing forwards Delme
Davies and Gwilym Beynon caught the Ammanford rearguard hesitating. The man in
possession from the kick ahead was brought down and from the ensuing melee Beynon went
over to score.
The conversion was kicked wide by David Thomas. With the scent of victory in their nostrils.
Carmarthen drove Ammanford into their “25” aided by the touch kicking of Malcom
Protheroe. But Carmarthen were not getting anywhere by keeping the ball tight.
Ammanford’s halves, Williams and Ken Harries, after a shaky start, backed up lively rallies
in the loose in which Meirion Walters and Clive Thomas caught the eye and sent Carmarthen
back to graze their own territory. Heeling the ball in the Carmarthen “25,” it sizzled across the
back line which ended in a fine equalising try. Full-back Winston Jones put Ammanford into
the lead with a good conversion kick.
When Carmarthen took the field a keen watch was kept on outside-half Aubrey Davies of
Swansea University who filled the gap left by Windsor Marks. And he showed up really well
despite being bogged down by the heavy ground. On one occasion in the second half, he
made a break which was delightful to watch but unfortunately, his final pass to winger Dewi
George was a little off. The final nail in Carmarthen’s coffin was hammered in when, after a
shocking exhibition of tackling, an Ammanford player wriggled free from the clutches of
three Carmarthen defenders before touching down.