by Howard Evans
Aberavon thoroughly deserved the points over a subdued Quins side with the match played in a very strong wind.
It blew across the pitch and made life difficult for both sides, but Aberavon adapted far better to the conditions. Indeed, the Quins must have been disappointed by their numerous handling errors.
Wing Chris Banfield was outstanding on the home left wing and there were some fine efforts from his teammates with full-back Jonny Phillips never putting a foot wrong.
The quick delivery from Rhodri Cole was a huge plus and the willingness of Lee Purnell to offer himself to Cole’s passing set up attack after attack.
Up front, there were solid performances from Rhys Fawcett and Chris Davies as the pack had another fine match.
The defence was good and Frankie Jones on the right-wing had his best match of the season.
It was Frankie who gained the first score with an interception near halfway and he ran clear to the posts for Aled Thomas to add the conversion.
The Quins tackled and defended well, but never posed many problems for the home defence with halfbacks Rhodri Davies and Jac Wilson closely marked and Dale Ford was shaken early on.
Aled Thomas, who displayed his skills with a quiet, yet cool, performance, added two penalties to take it to 13-0 by half-time.
During the half, skipper Joe Tomalin-Reeves had to be replaced after suffering a cut head, but he returned as the game restarted after the interval.
The Quins front row tried gallantly to hold the home forwards but found that replacement props Jordan Walters and Geraint James were just as hard to hold.
It seemed a question of when, not if, Aberavon were to score again.
It came from the ‘artful dodger’, hooker Ieuan Davies, who supported a great forward drive before gleefully evading a tackle and diving in at the corner.
Aled not only missed the difficult conversion, but must never have hit one so badly, but the wind was just too strong for any hope of kicking it.
The Quins could not break the stranglehold, but to their credit, they tackled and defended well.
However, another try had to come and it was Joe Tomalin-Reeves who gained it in the corner, but Aled, with Cole holding the well, could not beat the wind with his conversion attempt.
Debutant hooker Garin Lloyd came on but was soon off from a yellow card for attempting to halt a late Quins effort.
Then, right on time, in the last play, replacement wing Morgan Griffiths scored a consolation try for the Quins that was too far out for Wilson to convert.
Aberavon 23 – 5 Carmarthen Quins
Jonathan Phillips (rep Aled Rees 69 min); Chris Banfield, Joe Thomas (rep Joe Gage 69 min), Will Price, Frankie Jones; Aled Thomas, Rhodri Cole (rep Iwan Temblett 69 min); Rhys Fawcett (rep Jordan Walters 69 min), Ieuan Davies (rep Garin Lloyd 77 min), Chris Davies (rep Geraint James 60 min), Sam Pailor (rep Sam Williams 60 min), Rhodri Hughes, Lee Purnell, Ashton Evans, Joe Tomalin-Reeves (capt) (temp rep Andrew Waite 40 min – half-time, rep Andrew Waite 69 min).
Sam Pailor appeared from Trebanos RFC; Garin Lloyd appeared from the Ospreys. Debut for Aberavon for Garin Lloyd.
T – Frankie Jones, Ieuan Davies, Joe Tomalin-Reeves
C – Aled Thomas
PG – Aled Thomas (2)
T – Morgan Griffiths
Man Of The Match:
1 – Rhodri Cole
2 – Ieuan Davies
3 – Frankie Jones
07 min: Aberavon – T – Frankie Jones & C – Aled Thomas (7 – 0)
13 min: Aberavon – PG – Aled Thomas (10 – 0)
20 min: Aberavon – PG – Aled Thomas (13 – 0)
40+3 min: Half Time
50 min: Aberavon – T – Ieuan Davies (18 – 0)
69 min: Aberavon – T – Joe Tomalin-Reeves (23 – 0)
78 min: Carmarthen – Yellow Card – A.N.Other
80+2 min: Aberavon – Yellow Card – Garin Lloyd
80+3 min: Carmarthen – T – Morgan Griffiths (23 – 5)
80+4 min: Full Time