ALED Thomas kicked four penalties to help Carmarthen Quins come from behind against Cardiff and claim a hard-earned victory on a very wet afternoon.
Cardiff’s Steffan Jones has already showcased his kicking ability this season but despite a cagey opening he decided to go for the corner than for the posts on the 10-minute mark.
His decision looked to have been justified with the resulting line-out seeing lock Sam Pailor cross the whitewash, but he dropped the ball at the vital moment.
However, referee Dewi Phillips pulled play back for a penalty and this time Jones fired the ball through the posts to give the visitors the lead.
Hosts Quins were struggling to assert themselves against an organised Cardiff, but were given a golden chance to restore parity with a penalty, which full-back Thomas dispatched.
Cardiff replied instantly. A number of good passes saw them gain territory before a kick caught out the static Quins defence and centre Will Rees-Hole was able to catch the ball and touch down for his first try of the season. Jones then added the extras.
Quins then enjoyed a good spell with the ball, but they couldn’t turn possession into points as Cardiff remained solid, preventing Quins from finding any space.
However, their pursuit of points was dealt a big blow when former Merthyr flanker Ed Siggery was sent to the sin-bin on 34 minutes, meaning the hosts had to play the rest of the half with 14 men.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, they rose to the challenge with Thomas on target with an impressive penalty from long range.
They continued to pile on the pressure and reduced the deficit to just one point with Thomas booting his third penalty of the game with the last kick of the half.
The hosts made a bright start to the second half and, after a brief stop in play due to technical issues with the officials’ communication equipment, Thomas edged Quins ahead with his fourth penalty of the game.
Replacement number eight Morgan Allen thought he had handed the lead back to Cardiff midway through the second half but referee Phillips blew his whistle for an offence in the build-up that left Quins flanker Gethin Davies needing lengthy treatment before being replaced by Ellis Lloyd.
That decision seemed to re-energise the hosts and they went on to extend their lead with centre Nick Reynolds touching down under a pile of Quins bodies. Thomas was accurate with the conversion.
Cardiff had the last word as Jones salvaged a losing bonus point with a late penalty, but Quins took the win.