ABERAVON HARLEQUINS RFC Welcome
Boys Clubs of Wales Representatives from Aberavon Quins Youth
Callum Beynon, Jack Dacey, me, Lloyd Pritchard in civies, mike Burgess, Jacob Flynn. Aris Kolazakis (Absent)..
NEWS / EVENTS
Aberavon Quins Youth Seasons review 2013/14
Well to recap on what has truly been an amazing year in youth rugby for Aberavon Quins; it is in my opinion, and I don’t say this lightly, the best youth side this club as ever produced. This is not the end of this particular “Golden era” as 25 of the 28 squad are available for the start of next season.
Where to begin? Well we started the season by lifting the 10’a side tourney held at Tonna RFC without losing a game racking up lots of tries, and sustaining good discipline against some enthusiastic opposition, this was followed by an outstanding display of 15 man rugby in glorious sunshine on the famous Gnoll rugby pitch with length of the field tries, support play and off-loading that reminded locals of the great Neath sides of yesteryear, the final result, 55-5, against a Neath development team was all the more remarkable as it came on the day after the 10’s and the celebrations of winning that trophy???
The League season started well and we remained unbeaten up to Christmas, some of the outstanding results were a 48 point victory at Bridgend Athletic, wins against Swansea Uplands and Waunarllydd with only two recognised backs on the field. Another friendly of note was an away day at the Arms Park where we were the guests of Cardiff District, in atrocious weather but perfect field, thank you 4G, we went on to prevail the result made the youth public of Wales take notice.
With early wins in both district and National cups over Cwmavon and Tondu respectively we were firmly on a roll. We then had to contend with numerous injuries and the disappearance of a certain Scot Michael, who I should have reported as missing to the Police (spotted alive and well in outer reaches of Pontypool) although he still hasn’t had the courtesy to say he is no longer available.
Am I right in thinking that no other club has the diversity of ours with unavailability due to exams, extra tuition and university visitations on the one side and also curfews, electronic tags and jail visitations on the other? That’s what makes Rugby, and particularly Aberavon Quins such a great club.
I digress, a feature of our season has been the selection of Luke Davies to represent the Ospreys where he nailed down the starting hooking berth, playing nearly every minute of every game for the region, allied to this the initial selection of the Boys Club of Wales squad that included Mike Burgess, Callum Beynon, Aris Kolazakis, Jacob Flynn and Lloyd Pritchard with special mention to Jake on his selection as captain. This was followed by a friendly game v the BCW, which resulted in a notable success for the boys, after this game Jack Dacey was invited into the squad after an outstanding display as full back.
With the league all but wrapped up we went into a safer mode of play and began to meet teams hell bent on beating us, we had a relatively poor patch where we drew at home (Western avenue) with Bridgend Athletic and also lost on a disgraceful postage stamp pitch away at Bonymaen, the pitch was only equalled by the standard of referring which needs to be addressed at this level. The Welsh cup was our solace and we had great results on the way to the semi-final beating both Carmarthen sides, Athletic and Quins away from home in true “Band of Brothers” style. The district cup was pushed back whilst awaiting other sides to complete their fixtures, in fact it became a joke and at the end of the season did us no favours in our quest for National glory, but that’s for later.
Amongst all this we also ventured to foreign parts, Leicester in England, where we played against their Academy. We led for an hour of the game but their expected all round power and pace told in the last 15 minutes where they scored on 5 occasions to make it look a more comfortable win than it actually was. Put the result in perspective, they have talent scouts all over Britain (they have shown interest in Regan Grace) and only have one player from the Leicester area, we are a small club with all players living within 10 miles of the club, most within walking distance. A Defeat always hurts; we took away many lessons from the Midlands, which will help us on our journey to future successes.
To add to all these games the whole squad was involved with Afan Nedd who defeated both Bridgend and Swansea districts with some ease this led to a semi final, on the Arms Park once more, against Caerphilly District (aka Penallta youth). This turned out to be a cracker of a contest but ultimately fruitless for Afan Nedd has we were defeated 28-12 in a high class, physical encounter.
The national cup semi final verses Gilfach Goch was the only disappointment for me, it was the only time we played below par with numerous unforced errors and poor discipline, a couple of cruel injuries prior to the game didn’t help with both Tom James and Jacob Flynn on the sick list. Despite this we put up a brave fight but ultimately come up short. Personally I think a better venue and higher standard officials should be used for the latter stages of this prestigious competition. On the day Gilfach were worthy winners who played conditions better than us.
With the League title in the bag we went on to the League Champions cup, this equated to a semi final game v Nant Conway which was an end to end encounter which we deserved to edge. The final was played at our “second home” the Arms Park, against the supreme youth team Penallta, in an incredibly fast and physical game the older Penallta players and came to the fore and made a difference with a 31-0 victory. This was by no means a rout and we threw everything at them in the second half without success, which proves to me they are a top outfit. To be runners up and therefore the second best team in Wales is no shame; we have, more or less, the same team for next term with the addition of Callum Curtis, Dai Morley and James Rees, all of whom played a part this term, plus others from our under16’s squad.
To achieve similar success we need a more structured season when it comes to the District competitions, to be playing the District Final, which we won, against a very talented and physical team such as Ystradgynlais the Wednesday before our biggest game of the season is not acceptable and did us no favours, the District 7’s was on a Monday prior to that and as a result did not enter a team to enable proper rest, another trophy perhaps? We played our first round in September and due to other teams putting off fixtures and avoiding tough games we played our next game, the semi final, v Glynneath in mid May!!!!
A special mention to Regan Grace, Calvin Wellington and Luke Davies who have been invited to attend trials and training at St Helens RL academy, there has also been interest in our squad from various other top teams, with scouts posted at most of our big games.
Another achievement from this group of players was their involvement with the senior squad; they helped out, indeed flourished in certain games, and aided in the completion of difficult fixtures in a busy end of season schedule. So an incredible season with great support from our loyal fans lets replicate and indeed take a few more steps forward next season. Good luck to Travis Monks Landeg, Tom James and Jake Price on stepping up to senior level, the boys won’t be long behind you!
Why not join us at the presentation June 14th the Quins are a band of brothers.
at the Quins club, The Riff are the band,
Since the engaging the services of Chris O'Callaghan as coach early summer training has picked up. In the early days there were as little as five persons training including youth. Slowly the numbers have increased with Matthew Morgan, Craig Cox, Jamie Gibbs, Dan Morgan & Karl Davies among former players to return to the club. New signings have brought our playing strength to required levels and it will always be the aim of the club to run a development squad.
Youth products Jon Bamsey (Bridgend) & Jordan Crealock (Tata Steel) have moved up a few leagues and we wish them all the best and remind them that they are always welcome at the club.
We still need the services of a secretary and a treasurer and anyone interested should phone Phill Dacey on 01639891210 or e-mail
The youth team have made a good start with success at Tonna in the 10 a side competition and a resounding 55-5 win over Neath at the Gnoll. However having lost seven from the squad to senior rugby any new members will be welcome.
The newly formed under 16 squad have been training hard and Craig Curtis aided by Ieuan Evans is whipping them into shape for their first game away at Pontardulais 11-45am Sunday Morning 8/9/13
And finally big congratulations to this seasons skipper Craig Cox, probably one of a few people with shoulders big enough to steer this club through it's unsettled period. Anyone with any photos, match reports or something of interest that I could add to these pages, please forward them onto me. I'd love to keep this site organic..............Cheers in advance,