Carmarthen Quins 28 – 17 Aberavon
by Paul Williams
Aberavon scored three tries to match the hosts, but finished on the losing side on a cold evening at Carmarthen Park as the home side redoubled their defensive efforts to maintain the upper hand with the boot of fly-half Steff Marshall instrumental in turning pressure into points.
The Wizards were hardly helped by the absence of several key players, not least in the back row of the scrum where skipper Joe Tomalin-Reeves, Lloyd Evans and Ashton Evans were all unavailable for a variety of reasons, so while Andrew Waite occupied his customary number eight position, Steff Lewis stepped into the unfamiliar openside role and lock Sam Pailor packed down on the other flank. Meanwhile behind the scrum Iwan Temblett was the only scrum-half available with Liam Seaward carrying an injury and Rhodri Cole having been taken ill on the eve of the match. Thankfully Temblett got through eighty minutes unscathed and with a try to his name.
It perhaps came as no surprise that the disruption was all too visible as the Quins made the early running. Almost directly from the kick-off Marshall was on target with a penalty, and the home side remained in the ascendancy for much of the opening quarter, going further ahead when left-wing Corum Nott just managed to elude Jay Baker’s tackle and crash over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The Wizards were finding progress through a dogged home defence difficult, although hooker Luke Davies and Andrew Waite were causing the home side problems with their pacy and powerful running and Joe Gage tried hard to create midfield space only to find his efforts thwarted by a determined home defence. They finally managed to reduce the deficit after a fine run by Stef Andrews paved the way for Aled Thomas to dummy his way over in the right-hand corner to make the score 8-5. However, Marshall took the home side further ahead with a try at the posts to which he inevitably converted. Aberavon hopes were then rekindled when a great run by Waite split the defence and Temblett was on hand to finish it off beneath the crossbar for Thomas to convert on the stroke of half-time, making the score 15-12.
Again the home side were quicker off the mark after the interval, with right-wing Kalum Evans put clear for a try after just two minutes with Marshall adding the extras. The second half then descended into an untidy, error-strewn affair. The Wizards got their third try as the hour mark approached; a huge overhead pass from Temblett found Andrews out wide, and although he was tackled inches short of the line replacement centre Joe Thomas was on hand to pick up and touch down in the corner. This unconverted try, however, came between two penalty goals from Marshall which left the Wizards facing a hill that they were never going to climb despite their best efforts.
Carmarthen Quins 28 – 17 Aberavon
Stef Andrews; Jay Baker, Callum Carson (rep Joe Thomas 50 min), Joe Gage (capt) (rep Bradley Roderick 71 min), Frankie Jones; Aled Thomas (rep Rhys Jones 58 min), Iwan Temblett; Rowan Jenkins (rep Jordan Walters 58 min), Luke Davies (rep Ieuan Davies 65 min), Geraint James (rep Rhys Fawcett 65 min), Rhodri Hughes, Sam Parris-Williams (rep Shay Smallman 68 min), Sam Pailor, Andrew Waite, Steffan Lewis.
Replacement Not Used:
Steffan Lewis appeared from Tondu RFC. Jamie Cox appeared from Trebanos RFC.
T – Aled Thomas, Iwan Temblett, Joe Thomas
C – Aled Thomas
Carmarthen Quins Scorers:
T – Corum Nott, Steffan Marshall, Kalum Evans
C – Steffan Marshall (2)
P – Steffan Marshall (3)
Man Of The Match:
1 – Luke Davies
2 – Andrew Waite
3 – Stef Andrews
01 min: Carmarthen – PG – Steffan Marshall (3 – 0)
15 min: Carmarthen – T – Corum Nott (8 – 0)
28 min: Aberavon – T – Aled Thomas (8 – 5)
40+1 min: Carmarthen – T – Steffan Marshall & C – Steffan Marshall (15 – 5)
40+6 min: Aberavon – T – Iwan Temblett & C – Aled Thomas (15 – 12)
40+7 min: Half Time
42 min: Carmarthen – T – Kalum Evans & C – Steffan Marshall (22 – 12)
48 min: Carmarthen – PG – Steffan Marshall (25 – 12)
57 min: Aberavon – T – Joe Thomas (25 – 17)
63 min: Carmarthen – PG – Steffan Marshall (28 – 17)
80+4 min: Full Time