A STEP BACK IN TIME
(By Percy Jones)
SEASON 1946 / 47
Harlequins’ Easter Matches
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
A SUCCESSFUL RUN
Carmarthen Harlequins met with much success in their Eastertide matches. They defeated Whitland on Thursday evening 2nd inst., by a penalty goal to nil at Whitland. Saturday’s game at Ammanford ended in a pointless draw. On Easter Monday at Bristol, they defeated a powerful fifteen arranged by Major Ken Harvey and on Easter Tuesday at Carmarthen Park in a sparkling encounter, the Quins ran out worthy winners by a converted goal and three tries (14pts) to nil.
Player Fractures Ankle
In the match at Whitland, Gwyn Thomas, a promising Quins forward, had the misfortune to break his ankle and was conveyed to the County Infirmary at Carmarthen. He is now progressing favourably.
Whitland were assisted by four of the Llanelly First XV – Howard Davies and Griff Bevan (capt.), both Welsh internationals and A. Kelly and P. Nicholas. Despite these powerful additions to the home side, the Quins quite held their own and deservedly won. Jim Davies (full-back) landing a penalty goal.
Quins at Ammanford
Appalling climatic conditions prevailed for the Ammanford encounter and the referee wisely decided to limit exchanges to ten minutes for each half. It would have been better if the match was not played at all, for to attempt any type of rugby was entirely out of the question. The game ended in a pointless draw.
For the first time in the history of the club, the Quins played a game beyond Offa’s Dyke on Easter Monday and rendered an excellent account of themselves. The home team contained a number of well-known players in English first-class circles, but the Carmarthen team rose to the occasion in fine style and scored 10 points – a dropped goal and two tries. The home side got one try.
Sparkling play against Felinfoel
A large holiday crowd witnessed one of the most spectacular displays for some time, when the Harlequins defeated Felinfoel on Tuesday evening by a converted goal and three tries (14pts) to Nil. Each of the four scores were a joy to behold and thrilled the spectators. Carmarthen’s play was reminiscent of the true Harlequins type. What pleased the fans was not so much the actual result as the high standard of rugby served by the forwards and backs.
Although the home pack was beaten for possession in the set scrums, it shone in the line-out and loose. The Quins made full use of every opportunity and threw the ball about with delightful abandon. Percy Jones (scrum half) showed he has vastly improved since having gained experience and confidence, whilst Evan Thomas, a newcomer at right wing threquarter frequently gained applause for his resourcefulness and ability.
The visitors failed to match the Quins in speed and dash and had to concentrate on defence for three parts of the game. They had several useful forwards but their backs were weak in attack and relied mainly on defensive tactics, kicking to touch even on the rare occasions when they were in a favourable attacking position.
In the first half the Quins had the best of matters although playing against the wind. After Moelwyn Jones had got close with a drop goal the Quins commenced an aggressive movement started by Gerald Johns which ended in Evan Thomas scoring a try in the Vicarage corner following a hard and determined run for the line. The Quins led by a try (3pts) to nil at half time.
In the second half, Carmarthen immediately established themselves in the Felinfoel ‘25’ and J.Comey was almost over near the corner flag. Keeping up the pressure, Gerald Johns transferred to Reggie Jones and Jim Davies, the Carmarthen full-back, joined in as a fifth threequarter and crossed wide out after selling a perfect “dummy” to his opposite number.
On one occasion, J. Comey made a timely cross kick but the right wing threquarter flank was out of position to reach the ball. Gwyn Treharne, the Felinfoel full-back, was called upon to exhibit a stout defence and was eventually caught in possession by Evan Thomas. The ball became loose and it dapped nicely into the hand of Reggie Jones, who dribbled ahead, regained possession and crossed with the third try. A penalty kick to Felinfoel momentarily relieved the situation and L.Prior stole away from a scrum to enable the visitors to reach Carmarthen territory for the first time in this half. Close on time, Percy Jones cut through in approved style and Glyn Davies (Capt), S. Fawcett and H. Yeo handled and an inside pass was sent to Moelwyn Jones who had only to walk in with a try between the posts. Jim Davies added the extra points.