This was the day that Ponty came to Beacon Park.
Among their rank was the renowned “Viet Gwent” (a play on Viet Cong), namely their Front Row of Charlie Faulkner, Bobby Windsor, (known as the Duke), and Graham Price; all of whom were Welsh and British and Irish Lions. It was also the day that Brian Steer, a Tight Head Prop, who had joined Albion three weeks earlier from Exeter RFC, made his 1st XV debut for a veritable baptism of fire! Albion’s other two Front Row Forwards, Prop Mike Treagust and Hooker David Fuge were in the news as they had both been selected to go on the Public School Wanderers tour of America in the Summer as part of Celebrations for their Bi-Centennial.
Albion produced a fairy tale end to this match (and their season) in beating the more fancied Pontypool side with two late tries. In the first half Albion were often forced to defend desperately, and it was surprising that the visitors did not score more than the 11 points by half-time, through 2 tries and a drop goal, and many spectators felt Albion would be beaten by at least 30 points.
However, with the Albion Pack holding their own in the scrum, and lineout where Gary Lovell and Neil Packer were outstanding, Albion slowly fought their way back into the match. As the second half progressed, flankers Geoff Harding and Richard Catchpole became the physical battering rams which help pin the visitors in their own 22, allowing scrum half Nick Vosper and fullback Les Ware to dictate Albion’s attacking tactics. In the 45th minute Ware kicked a penalty. Then in the 62nd minute from an Albion scrum 5 yards out from the visitors try line, they scored a push-over try.
Pontypool were still very much in the game, with fly-half Keith James kicking a drop goal in the 69th minute. Then in the 75th minute Albion fly-half, Malcolm Shillabeer scored between the posts, Ware converted to put the scores one point between the sides, with 5 minutes plus injury time left. The Albion pack were now like terriers, and managed to win a loose ball, which was fed to Scrum Half Nick Vosper who crossed for a try in injury time which Ware converted leaving the final score Albion 19pts Pontypool 14pts.
15.L.Ware, 14.J.Rickman, 13.M.Shillabeer, 12.N’Ormsby, 11.N.Beswetherick, 10.P.Carter, 9. N.Vosper, 8.G.Harding, 7.B.Blatchford, 6.R.Catchpole, 5.N.Packer, 4.G.Lovell, 3.B.Steer. 2.D.Fuge, 1.M.Treagust.