Llanelli travelled to local Regional feeder team Carmarthen, in the Principality Premiership, on the eve of the Scotland v Wales 6 Nations encounter.
In excellent conditions,Owen Williams opened the scoring for the visitors within a couple of minutes, which Dan Newton cancelled out ten minutes later.
Play was being evenly contested but Llanelli were looking the more threatening with ball in hand and when flyer Kyle Evans scorched in for another good individual try, converted by Owen Williams, things looked promising for the ‘Turks’.
Owen Williams then put over another fine penalty for a 13-3 lead which remained until injury time of the half when ‘ ice-cool’ Dan Newton kicked his second penalty to make it Carmarthen 6 -13 Llanelli.
Quins came out of the blocks well at the restart and Llanelli’s fine defence finally cracked, when Aled Hopkins was ‘yellow carded’ by efficient WRU referee Jon Mason. Newton kicked the resulting simple penalty and soon after wing Jason Harries crossed the visitors line after good approach from his forwards, Newton added the simple extras.
Dan then increased his team’s lead to six points with another penalty only for Williams to cut the deficit to three with a similar effort.
Then on 66 minutes a Johnny Lewis charge down resulted in a 50 metre dash and corner try for the centre to give his team a 21-19 lead.
Quins replaced Newton with another young Academy Scarlet player Jack Maynard, who showed great maturity to slot over what was to be the winning 35 metre penalty, on 70 minutes.
In the final 10 minutes Llanelli blew a number of chances to score tries and in injury time Owen Williams' long distance penalty attempt drifted wide for the Quins to hold onto the win and gain the four valuable Principality Premiership points.
On the positive, Llanelli came away with the losing bonus point which keeps them well in the hunt for one of the Principality Premiership ‘play off ‘ spots.
However, improvement in kicking out of hand, kicking for territory and kick & chase to regain possession needs much attention. Possibly the less kicking approach and more of the traditional ‘ball in hand ,‘passing game , needs to be re-adpoted in the next two home games at Parc Y Scarlets , against Pontypridd next Saturday at 12 noon and Sunday 24th March against fast improving Cardiff RFC.
Carmarthen RFC 22 -21 Llanelli RFC