Carmarthen kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the latter stages of the British and Irish Cup with a hard fought win over Swansea at a windy St Helen’s.
After a largely uneventful first 20 minutes the Whites were the first to threaten when flankers Matthew Davies and Rob Dudley-Jones started a counterattack, but fellow back row man Dan Baker was unable to take the pass and the promising move broke down.
A huge kick by Nicky J Thomas, aided by a strong easterly wind, was not dealt with by the Carmarthen defence as they held onto possession in the tackle. Nicky J Thomas kicked his side into a three point lead.
The visitors began to wake up when good work in midfield by prop Rob Evans and centre Rheon James saw fly half Jack Maynard chip through, but Whites scrum half Aled Lewis tracked back to defend.
Centre Alex Pickersgill threatened to score on the stroke of half time when he made a break through the middle, but the visitors were too slow to support him so the move broke down.
Half-time:- Swansea 3 Carmarthen 0
It took Carmarthen just two minutes after the interval to get their first touch down when hooker Gethin Robinson and lock Haydn Pugh combined in midfield, before fly half Maynard dummied his way through the Whites’ defence to score a well taken try. He converted.
Pugh was sin-binned for killing a dangerous Swansea attack and the home side hit back with a Dan Baker try after a patient build up by the forwards. Nicky J Thomas missed the conversion.
The visitors retook the lead four minutes later with a Maynard penalty after a dangerous tackle by the home side. The Quins fly half had an opportunity to extend the lead with a penalty from halfway when the home pack infringed at the scrum but his effort fell short of the posts.
The Whites didn’t give up though. Baker and James McKenna both made powerful runs, but when they got the ball out wide, winger Jamie Thomas was bundled into touch five metres short of the line.
The visitors sealed victory with a last minute try for replacement Chris Banfield after Pugh orchestrated a breakaway and got the ball quickly out wide for the score. Maynard converted.
Carmarthen’s progress in the tournament will now depend on whether Dundee High can produce a shock win in Penzance. Next up for Swansea is a trip to Dundee High next Saturday, while Carmarthen host Cornish Pirates.
Full time:- Swansea 8 Carmarthen 17
Star man: Haydn Pugh
Referee: Eddie Hogan O’Connell
Tries:- Baker (51)
Pens:- Nicky J Thomas (31)
Tries:- Maynard (43), Banfield (80)
Cons:- Maynard (44, 80+1)
Pens:- Maynard (55)
Y cards:- Pugh (50)
15 Nicky J Thomas
14 Jamie Thomas
13 Chris Shelmerdine
12 Nicky Harwood
11 Rhys Williams
10 Cameron Clement (rep: David Watts 41)
9 Aled Lewis (rep: Jake Cole 80+2)
1 Matthew Norman (rep: Nicky Smith 61)
2 Ieuan Dobbs (rep: Scott Otten 61)
3 Nicky Thomas (rep: Ian Williams 68)
4 Ben Fox
5 Sam Kiley ©
6 Rob Dudley-Jones (rep: James McKenna 68)
7 Matthew Davies
8 Dan Baker
16 Scott Otten
17 Nicky Smith
18 Ian Williams
19 John Barley
20 James McKenna
21 Jake Cole
22 David Watts
15 Rhys Thomas
14 Dylan Morgans
13 Alex Pickersgill
12 Rheon James
11 Jason Harries
10 Jack Maynard
9 Rhodri Wells (rep: Huw Rees 66)
1 Rob Evans
2 Gethin Robinson (rep: Ricky Guest 66)
3 Trystan Davies (rep: Adrian Laxton 66)
4 Haydn Pugh
5 Carwyn Jones
6 Sion Bennett (rep: Chris Banfield 77)
7 James Davies
8 Luke Joseph (rep: Rory Gallagher 64)
16 Ricky Guest
17 Rory Gallagher
18 Adrian Laxton
19 Ian Jones
20 Huw Rees
21 Chris Banfield
22 Darren Daniel