PEMBROKE DOCK Quins upset all the odds by beating League 3 West A leaders Haverfordwest on Saturday (Apr 16) in a pulsating clash with the result in doubt up until the last minute.
The win now puts them into the semi-final of the KO Cup against Aberystwyth at home on a date to be arranged.
On a beautilful Easter Saturday in front of probably the biggest crowd in Pembrokeshire rugby this season, it was the Quins who forced the first error after just three minutes. Outside Half Euan MacDonald sent his 45-yard attempt just wide of the Blues Uprights.
The Blues were dominating the early scrums but were not taking full advantage of the penalties that the Quins were conceding, the Quins first up tackling was stopping the Blues virtually every time they tried to mount a serious attack, and with Prop Jack Davies and a resurgent Flanker Jordan Palmer causing all sorts of problems at the Breakdown and with Centres Jack Price and Gethin Bradney bottling up the middle, things were not going the Blues way as they found the Quins difficult to break down.
On 26 minutes the Quins struck when Centre and Captain Jack Price scattered Blues defenders everywhere and touched down near the posts, Euan MaDonald converted and against all the odds the Quins were 7-0 up.
Once again the Blues responded, but still could not make any inroads into Quins defence.
Then right on half time the Quins scored their second try through Jack Price with a carbon-copy of the first try, Euan MaDonald added the extra to stretch the Quins lead to 14-0 and a few minutes later the referee blew for half time with the Quins on the attack.
The second half started and the Blues showed that they are not unbeaten in the League for nothing, when Wing Jack Evans hauled his side back into the game, out flanking the Quins defence to touch down wide out with the half just four minutes old, Outside Half Jake Morgan missed the difficult conversion.
Points were now a precious commodity for the Blues as they tried to get within one score of the Quins.
The Quins, after defending as if their lives depended on it finally transgressed, and Jake Morgan slotted over a penalty from in front of the posts to drag his side back into it at 14-8.
The home side still held on, barely getting out of their half as they dug deep.
With 10 minutes to go the Blues struck when Centre Matthew John cut through the Quins defence to touch down wide out. The Quins defenders to their credit made the conversion difficult and Jake Morgan missed.
The Quins were now leading 14-13 and it was going to be a tough ask for the young side to hang on.
But this they did admirably, the forwards were putting in a huge effort with Hywel Baker, Harry Owen, Ben Gibby coming to the the fore as the Quins rang the changes from the bench and the interchanges.
With five minutes to go the Quins almost put the game beyond doubt when replacement Centre Aaron James hacked through but the bounce of the ball eluded him about a yard from the line.
The Quins were now firmly deep in Blues territory for the first time in the half. As the game went into injury time and with the Blues’ backs behind their own goal line, the Quins looked odds on favourites.
The Blues tried to run out of defence with 6 minutes into injury time already gone, they transgressed more in desperation than anything else and up stepped Euan MaDonald to put the penalty over, the referee blew for no side and the Quins Marched into the Semi Final.
The Pembrokeshire KO CUP is one of the oldest cup competions in Wales, it has struggled over the years since professionalism, but by hook or crook it has still managed to keep going.
With Grass Roots Rugby struggling,this match was a beacon of hope with a large crowd and a local Derby played on a Bank Holiday which is very important to the respective Clubs.