ABERAVON HARLEQUINS RFC - Challenge Cup

The WRU Challenge Cup commenced in 1972, it was a unique trophy to play for, as for the first time, it gave a chance for 'minnow clubs' who progressed far enough in the competition to go head to head with the bigger 'first class' clubs, adding a very worthwhile, exiting challenge for the smaller clubs.

Aberavon Harlequins can boast a unique history within this competiton, being the first giant killers in the competition, beating first class competition on no more than three occasions, and pushing some of the mighty clubs close on several occasions.

The Quins have a great Cup reputation, and became the first "Giant Killers" when they saw off Cross Keys by 16-10 in the first round of the inaugural season. Two seasons later they were at it again when Maesteg became the victims by 14-12. They had to wait sixteen years for the next success, but it was very sweet when it came in December 1988, eclipsing their big brother Aberavon by a resounding 19-6. The opposing captains on that day were David McGrath (Quins) and Gary Matthews (Aberavon) Other first-class opposition have also been given a fright. In 1982 visitors Neath came close to defeat scraping home 12-9, and then again Aberavon on their own Talbot Athletic Ground just squeezed home with a 9-4 win. In both these games neither of the first class sides could cross the Quins line. The Quins also gave Cardiff a good game in 1989, when Cardiff ran out winners at the Arms Park 22-15. Two of the Cardiff tries were scored whilst the Quins were down to fourteen men, while winger Paul Bamsey was receiving treatment.

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