“A STEP BACK IN TIME”
(By Percy Jones)
SEASON 1974 -75
This was the Quins’ centenary year with several matches having been arranged throughout the season against first class sides and invitation teams. Brian Llewellyn retained the captaincy and results for this season were a big improvement on the previous 2-3 seasons. The Quins played 29 games; won 16; lost 11 and 2 were drawn.
The first game against senior opposition was at the park against Llanelli which the Quins narrowly lost by 6pts to 4. They came up against London Welsh at the Park a week later and came away worthy winners by 13pts to 12. The secretary of London Welsh at that time was Stuart Davies who was from Carmarthen who, along with his brothers Neil, Howard and Tom were all well known in the town. Towards the end of the season they played against Metropolitan Police losing by 34pts to 13. The secretary of the police team was Denzil Jones who was at that time a Seargent at the Mets and whose brother David (aka Dai Chips) had played hooker for the Quins and had served on the club’s committee. The Quins also lost by 50pts to 26 against a very strong Captain Crawshay’s XV.
As in previous seasons the Quins made an early exit from the Welsh Cup. They drew 9pts to 9 in the first round away against Kidwelly but lost 18pts to 14 in the replay. However, they had a rollercoaster ride in the West Wales Cup Competition. They beat Skewen away in the first round by 31pts to nil. (See match report below). They travelled again in the second round and comfortably beat Pontyberen by 22pts to nil. In the third round they were at home to local rivals Kidwelly and won by 7pts to 3. They were home again in the quarter finals against big rivals Tumble and were deserving of their 9 points to nil success. They played Loughor at Hendy in the semi-finals and beat them by 25 points to nil. Up until the final, the Quins had scored 104 points for with 10 points against in the cup competition but knew they would be up against a very strong team in Llandybie who they were to play in the final at Stradey Park. It turned out to be a cracker of a game but unfortunately it was one hurdle too much for the Quins who went down by 10 points to 7.
The club’s centenary dinner was held at the clubhouse at the end of the season with Mr Harry Bowcott, then President of London Welsh as well as the President of the WRU, guest speaker on the night. The club were fortunate to have been able to call on John Lewis to act as assistant Secretary to Noir Bryan to plan and arrange all the centenary celebrations.
‘Brian, your men were just great’.
Skewen 0; Carmarthen Quins 31.
If ever there was a shining example of a team profiting fully from unstinted coaching and training this was it. No wonder skipper Brian Llewellyn beamed with delight after this first round West Wales cup tie. He had whipped the Quins into near-perfect condition. No effort had been spared.
The net result was a 31 point romp in which Robert Taylor and Graham Walters contributed 27 points between them. But these were not the only contributory factors which put the skids under Skewe. This was a team effort. A performance of all round superiority, skill and dominance. Just how coach and mentor Llewellyn had planned it. Will the Quins win the cup? Too early to say but one thing is certain, a continuance of this form and the trophy could be theirs.
Skewen were clearly no match for the sparkling Llewellyn-charged Quins. They were blasted out of sight. Whereas the Quins had guile and thrust Skewen made repeated mistakes and were forced into all sorts of muddles.
The Quins ran in with five glorious tries and Skewen spent the majority of time defending desperately. But for some courageous last ditch tackling Carmarthen would surely have run riot. The Quins took just five minutes to stamp their superiority and opened the scoring with a prodigious 40 yard angled penalty by Taylor.
The Quins’ forward power was evidenced by hooker Richard John who, assisted by Howard Iles, dominated the set-pieces, winning ten strikes against the head. With the powerful backing of John “Llew” Evans Carmarthen had a tremendous front row which dominated from the start and never lost their grip.
With Peter Evans and Colin Davies exploiting all the territorial advantage the Quins increased their lead in the 20th minute with a remarkably executed try. Scrum-half Evans triggered off the move which had all the threequarters handling before winger Graham Walters shot over in the corner. From the touchline Taylor was again on target.
Just ten minutes later Taylor crossed for a try following a sparkling burst by Roger Richardson. Skewen were still reeling when dashing Dai Dyer was hauled down inches from the line after wrong-footing the defence. Conspicuous in the lines-out was Jeff Williams. Time and again he denied Skewen possession and began flowing moves. Shertly after the interval the Quins scored the try of the match when Richardson jetted his way through the Skewen defence and handed Walters his second try on a plate. From a difficult position Taylor again converted. What spirited attacks emerged from Skewen were easily repelled by the Quins for whom full back Evans gave a faultless display.
The Quins also had an efficient and highly-geared back row and Woodhead, Lewis ans Stevens worked tirelessly to keep the half backs well supplied. Midway through the half Walters completed his hat-trick of tries and Taylor duly obliged with the conversion. The Quins completed their points tally with a try under the post from Richard John after Peter Evans had cleaved his way past half the Skewen side. Taylor’s kick pushed the score beyond the 30 point mark. A real 15 man five-star performance this by the Quins and a tribute to Llewellyn’s lessons!
By kind permission of the Carmarthen Journal