by Howard Evans
Another splendid performance gave Aberavon a fourth successive Cup victory and also upheld their lead in the West Section.
In truth, they ruled the game with Carmarthen being superbly held, particularly in the centre of the field.
It was a game that 18-years-old Dan Edwards will never forget as this was his debut in a fully competitive game and he landed all five of his attempts at goal.
However, I made acting skipper Will Price the outstanding player as his tackling in the centre along with Joe Thomas and his huge work rate was totally splendid.
Will has never been a glamour boy, but rarely has a poor game and much of his play can be easily missed from the grandstand.
Full-back Jonny Phillips was celebrating his 30th birthday and never put a foot (or hand) wrong, while another man who is in terrific form is tight-head prop Geraint James.
But, really it is wrong to pick a single player out and young Edwards will, I am sure, have learned much from the players around him. He never made a mistake and his goal-kicking was astonishing, even with cramp in the final minutes.
The Quins took the lead early on with a Josh Batcup penalty, but there was no doubting the Aberavon scrum and after a break by Ashton Evans, scrum-half Iwan Temblett scampered clear to the posts.
It was the ideal start for Edwards with the conversion in front for a 7-3 lead.
Halfway through the first session, the pack drove powerfully and a penalty try resulted.
Edwards then landed a huge straight goal to make it 17-3 at the break.
In the second half, Aberavon took complete control with hooker Luke Davies especially notable.
Despite two yellow cards, there was no way through the defence of the ‘Wizards’.
Edwards kicked three more splendid penalties as Aberavon did not reach top gear and it was a play-to-win game whereas twice in the first half the Quins had thrown away penalty chances.
Jason Hyatt was very pleased but warned opponents that his team are still looking to push the bar up higher.
He said: “We are setting a high standard, even though we made seven changes from the previous match.
“We played in good areas and this was about playing away and winning against a good side, which we did.”
Somebody suggested that the Quins had not played well, but I think both Jason and I would say that this was a game in which they were not allowed to play well.
It was a workmanlike performance even with several key players out with injury and competition for places is great as the team spirit is the heart of Aberavon team.
Carmarthen 3 – 26 Aberavon
Jonathan Phillips (rep Joe Gage 66 min); Chris Banfield, Joe Thomas, Will Price (capt) (rep Chay Smith 60 min), Stef Andrews; Dan Edwards, Iwan Temblett (rep Rhodri Cole 60 min); Rowan Jenkins (rep Rhys Fawcett 68 min), Luke Davies (rep Ieuan Davies 70 min), Geraint James (rep Chris Davies 68 min), Shay Smallman, Sam Williams, Ashton Evans (rep Billy Moxey 80+4 min), Andrew Waite, Lloyd Evans (rep Cameron Lewis 80+4 min).
Dan Edwards appeared from the Ospreys; Billy Moxey appeared from Trebanos RFC.
T – Iwan Temblett, Penalty Try
C – Dan Edwards
PG – Dan Edwards (4)
PG – Josh Batcup
Man Of The Match:
1 – Dan Edwards
2 – Andrew Waite
3 – Luke Davies
05 min: Carmarthen – PG – Josh Batcup (3 – 0)
06 min: Aberavon – T – Iwan Temblett & C – Dan Edwards (3 – 7)
19 min: Aberavon – T – Penalty Try (3 – 14)
19 min: Carmarthen – Yellow Card – Nicholas Cudd
32 min: Carmarthen – End Yellow Card – Nicholas Cudd
33 min: Aberavon – PG – Dan Edwards (3 – 17)
40+5 min: Half Time
52 min: Aberavon – PG – Dan Edwards (3 – 20)
59 min: Aberavon – Yellow Card – Sam Williams
64 min: Aberavon – PG – Dan Edwards (3 – 23)
72 min: Aberavon – Yellow Card – Andrew Waite
72 min: Aberavon – End Yellow Card – Sam Williams
80+4 min: Aberavon – PG – Dan Edwards (3 – 26)
80+5 min: Full Time