“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
SEASON 1967 / 68
15th SEPTEMBER 1967
“TUMBLE TAKE A TUMBLE”
(By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal)
CARMARTHEN 3 pts., TUMBLE NIL
In their first attempt at gaining West Wales league points this season, Tumble took a tumble at Carmarthen Park on Saturday when home full back Brian Furlong kicked a penalty in the closing stages. But what an inspired encounter it turned out to be despite conditions ideal for open rugby. The whole affair was dull, drab and unimaginative. From the start the pattern was so predetermined that respective defences had all the time in the world to cancel out each and every threat.
The probing, speculative kicks ahead by Tumble were easily dealt with by Carmarthen’s Brian Furlong and his threequarters who were allowed an abundance of time by the visiting back row of which Roger Walters was the best. Walters however, was far from fit following a long lay-off through illness. Open side wing-forward Alun Stephens showed glimpses of his speed but his tackling ability left much to be desired.
Lock Glyn Davies, who had played a great game in the previous. match against Pontyberem, was frequently penalised for over-indulgence and through this and mistakes galore, the Tumble side can count themselves lucky that young Kerri Davies in the last line of defence was in such splendid form.
This youngster turned in an immaculate display of fielding and touch-finding and continually gave welcome relief. Fly-half Aubrey Davies was also effective in gaining much needed breathing space.
After the first quarter of an hour it became more and more obvious that neither tries nor attractive rugby would ever materialise. Such were the negative methods adopted by both sides that only a penalty or drop goal would decide the issue. Tumble hooker Wyn Davies gained an equal share of the strike against Bob Morgan who enjoyed far more support from his pack in the tight. True, Carmarthen forwards made little constructive impression on the game but their spoiling tactics proved effective.
Tumble’s second row Hedley Evans gave a fine exhibition in gathering the ball from lines-out, but he had little support. As a consequence the Carmarthen pack were allowed to bulldoze a way through as they liked. Underlining this was the fact that five out of six kicks attempted by scrum-half Brian Jones were charged down.
Jones will want to forget this game. He was off form and inexplicably continued to ignore his fly-half Derrick Lewis who was rearing to go against his former club mates. Indeed, it made little difference to Tumble’s chances when Lewis received a hip injury early in the game, so little of the ball did he see.
Following the pointless, pitiful first half those expecting a transformation in the second half were disappointed. The same unexciting trend continued until Carmarthen clinched things in the dying minutes. Tumble were penalised for a srummage infringement near their own line and Furlong, whose three previous penalty attempts proved fruitless, made no mistake. Tumble did reply with a lat ditch stand, but even this failed to lift the match from a standard below mediocre.