“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
Sporting Diary by “Cardinal”
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
In the sporting section of the Journal for the 26th January 1961, Cardinal reports on the mid-season progress of the Quins 1st XV.
“Carmarthen R.F.C. will have one of their toughest matches of the season when they face Pontyberem on their own ground on Saturday in a match which could well decide the fate of both sides in their bid to be among the top four. If Carmarthen win, then they will have a big task ahead to gain a place among the leaders. But if the result goes in favour of the home side, Pontyberem will have an easier task and Carmarthen will have to do the fighting.
Carmarthen have already taken two points from Pontyberem in October of last year and are capable on their present form of doing so again. Should it be a battle between the forwards, Carmarthen should gain the honours. Pontyberem have a fast threequarter line which combines well but if Carmarthen make use of spoiling tactics then the home side will be hard pressed to gain a point.
As seen in the West Wales Rugby Union Championship table New Dock Stars have opened a two point gap with a 17-3 victory over Llandeilo which puts them on top of the table with 24 points. Carmarthen are in second position for the first time this season having been at the top since the season commenced. But the Stars have played one more game than Carmarthen. The county town side has a first class points average , having scored 138 for with only 20 against, which reflects creditably on the team’s defensive qualities.”
The report in the Carmarthen Journal in the week following the game against Pontyberem makes for poor reading as a dour game ended in a 3-3 draw. I have therefore decided to include a report in today’s programme on a match between the Quins and Amman United played at Carmarthen Park on Saturday February 10th 1962.
Carmarthen, 8pts: Amman United, nil.
Playing their first home game for six weeks on Saturday, Carmarthen had little difficulty in beating Amman United by a goal and a try to nil. The score itself does not reflect the superiority of the home side which lost many opportunities of scoring.
The Carmarthen pack had little difficulty in containing their eager opponents, winning the line-outs and most of the set scrums. However, the home “eight” showed some reluctance to corner flag in defence and were equally slack in following up many an individual move, especially during some parts of the second half. Joe Davies played vigorously as is his want and so did John Evans while Clive Evans and Gwilym Beynon contribute not a little to the success of the team forward.
The Carmarthen threequarter line opened out in the second half. It would be unfair to mention any of the four, Tudor Lewis, Graham Thomas, Derek Lewis or Clive Jones as having outshone their respective colleagues. The half-backs, Keith Lewis (inside) and Windsor Marks (outside) played extremely well together, the latter shining both in attack and defence. His touch-kicking and the kicking and fielding of full-back Royston Davies were accurate and gainful.
GOOD AMMAN PACK
The Amman United forward line had one or two exceptionally good players among its ranks which, although failing to break a sturdy opposition, did succeed for much of the game to hold its own. The pack played its share in defence and attack and were more sprightly. They were, however, sadly lacking in combination. Their backs had occasions to show their ability. They had speed but not sufficient to avoid some of the crashing tackles of the Carmarthen defence. Wings Melvyn Evans and Ken Davies were on good form and likewise outside-half Alun Evans started some promising movements.
The first try came with only some ten minutes to half-time when Carmarthen heeled the ball on the United “25.” Wing forward Noyr Bryan received and crashed over near the posts for an unconverted try. Within minutes Clive Jones scored a glorious corner try which was converted by Windsor Marks.
Although no further points were added, it was an interesting game to watch with plenty of exciting and good football. Both sides kept the game moving to the delight of the crowd. The match was marred by two incidents involving a player from each team. Just before the final whistle Clive Evans left the field with a nasty head injury which necessitated the insertion of stitches at the local hospital.
League Fixtures for the 1961-62 season were against:-
Haverfordwest; Llandybie; Tumble; New Dock Stars; Welsh Police; Kidwelly; Llandeilo; Glais; Resolven; Pontyberem; Amman United; Penclawdd and Ystradgynlais; with friendly matches played against Cwmavon; Loughor; Blaenavon and Skewen.
In the West Wales Rugby Union Cup, Carmarthen drew twice against Bynea in the first round but got the result in the third game winning 3pts to nil. They continued their cup success in later rounds by beating Trebanos; Amman United and Gorseinon (after a replay) but lost 6pts to nil to Felinfoel in the final at Stradey Park.
At the end of the season, Carmarthen had played 36 games, winning 22, losing 7 with 7 drawn.