Jersey 37 Carmarthen Quins 1711/10/2014
British & Irish Cup, pool 5
After being given a fright by their pacy visitors from West Wales, Jersey recovered to register an impressive bonus-point victory sealed by Mark McCrea's 70-metre interception try with the final play of the match.
The home side dominated the first period against a much-changed Carmarthen side supplemented by a number of players from the Scarlets' talent pool. Slick hands saw Grant Pointer put Dave Markham over for the first score, and then McCrea added a second try in the closing minutes of the half with a deft kick over the Quins' defence.
An early score for the Islanders after half-time could have ended the game as a contest, but in fact the visitors grabbed a foothold with two lightning-quick backs' moves leading to tries from Steffan Evans and Josh Lewis.
At 17-10, the home supporters were anxious, even after Aaron Penberthy extended the lead with a penalty - part of his 15-point haul. Jersey scored a third try at a crucial moment on the hour; Paula Kaho picked up a loose ball and the Tongan hurtled downfield. After 60 metres his legs were fading, but Markham was on hand to take the ball on and force his way over.
Rhys Thomas' try gave the Quins hope of a consolation bonus point or two, but in pressing forward possession was lost and Jersey applied the coup de grace.
"It was really important to get a result in front of our home support," said Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon (pictured above). "We showed today that we can turn a tight game into a good win.
"We did have a few concerns early in the second half. I don't want to restrict the boys' spirit of adventure too much, but there's a balance to be struck and maybe we were too bold on a couple of occasions, which led to us being punished by a good team.
"We had some players who've not played that much so far and they really stepped up today - they represented the club and the Island with real pride and they'll be contending for selection in the coming weeks. Several players stood out, I thought our front row did very well today against an experienced Welsh unit."
In the other game in pool five, holders Leinster 'A' trailed Plymouth Albion 10-8 at half-time at Brickfields but then scored 23 unanswered points after the break. Albion had the consolation of a strong finish which denied the Irish side a bonus points and earned the Devon side two bonus points in a 24-31 defeat.
Next weekend Jersey play Leinster 'A' on Friday night in Dublin
while Carmarthen host Plymouth on Saturday afternoon.
Report by Tom Innes
Jersey: Burroughs, Pointer, McCrea, Hoskins (Robling 46), Dawson, Penberthy (Bishop 64), Glynn (Griffiths 69); Lancuba, Harris (Garcia-Veiga 60), Herriott (Brennan 72), Campbell, Markham, Maidment (capt) (Noone 56), Buckle, Kaho (Rae 72).
Carmarthen: Evans S, Adams (Williams L 60), Hughes (Evans I 64), Williams R, Williams J, Lewis J (Jones D 56), Hardy; Thomas (Robinson 71), Myhill (Lewis L 64), Edwards, Griffiths (Osborn 69), Kelly (capt), Jones S, Boyde, Day (Taylor 75).
Referee: Andy Brace (IRFU)
Star Man: Dave Markham (Jersey)
Tries: Markham 11, 60, McCrea 36, 80
Conversions: Penberthy 11, 36, 60, Robling 80
Penalty: Penberthy 28, 54, 63
Tries: Evans S 42, Lewis J 45, Thomas 71
Conversion: Jones D 71