Difficult choices to make at Bierspool!

Mike Ridley

There have been some great characters with Pembroke Dock Harlequins over the years, not least like those in their championship-winning team built around Lenny and Roy Scourfield, Ossie and Dai Boswell, Roland Boyett and Paul Rogers up front, plus Andy Morrissey, Roger Wint, Haydn Williams, Martin and Roy Davies amongst the backs.

But for this selection they were out of the right eras and so Mike Ridley had some hard choices to make from more current times and readily admitted that it was immensely difficult; and he knew it would initiate some discussion amongst Quins’ followers.

Mike is the club’s treasurer, unofficial press officer, programme notes compiler – and even gets the kit washed at his local laundry – and only missed odd games when he is away cheering Wales on!

He readily admits that there were loads of candidates for all positions - and recognises that others would make entirely different choices - let us know your selection!


Pace aplenty from full back and wide on the wings!


Lee Scourfield “Gareth Clarke was a very pacy full back who had the ability to turn defence into attack with his scything runs from seep positions. He was steady under the high ball and with a good pair of hands to set others into space.

“On the wings I would have really pacy wingers in Damian Miller and Lee Scourfield, both of whom had power aplenty. Damian could also have played at full back and as well as being a regular try scorer he was always ready to stand up in defence with some big tackles.

“Lee Scourfield seemed to be able to score tries for fun and was another very committed defender who was able to start attacks from deep with the ability to create attacks from very limited space. He could claim to be one of the best-ever Quins’ wingers because he really had it all!

“Current winger Jordan Asparassa would provide good cover on the wing whilst Aaron James would be able to play anywhere along the line because he is such a talented player.

Lee Scourfield in full flight


Strength and skill from two talented centres


Darren GibbyJack Price“In the centre my first choice would be Darren Gibby, who would also be my captain because he was hugely respected by all his team mates and always led by example. He was 100% committed to The Quins’ cause, never shirked a tackle and as well as being terrific in defence he was no mug in attack and scored some vital tries.

“I would pair him with Jack Price, who returned to Bierspool this season and scored 12 tries as proof of how good he really is with his ability to create space for others as well as himself, shrugging off would-be tacklers with seeming ease. Also deceptively quick for a big feller and hopefully will be at Bierspool for a long time in the future!

“Jason Keats was a powerhouse centre in the Scott Gibbs’ mould and he would tackle all day and run straight at opposing defences to try and create the gaps for others – and Kevin Bratcher was a top try scorer with the ability to really influence a game.


High skill and raw power combined at half back


Jason Griffiths Lee Rogers“We have had some useful players in the No 10 jersey but my choice would have to be Lee Rogers because had such high skill levels and the ability to analyse play and act upon it. He was a superb runner and a great pair of hands, sidestep and pace which could totally confuse the opposition and bring his backs into play. He was a very useful line and place kicker and although not the biggest fly half he never shirked a tackle.

“His half back partner has to be Jason Griffiths, who was as strong as a small ox and loved the physicality of taking on much bigger back-rows with his powerful surges, especially from tapped penalties and close-range scrums. His passing wasn’t bad either and he was the nearest thing to David Bishop I’ve seen in a Quins’ shirt!

“We have been lucky to have the likes of Jonathan Rogers and Tom ‘Turbo’ Lewis to help out, either at centre or outside half because both could make vital breaks and were excellent points gatherers and great controllers of games who only just missed out on my first choices – whilst the same could be said of Ollie Brace and his undoubted skills at scrum half, with Jason Scarfe as another talented No 9.


Strong scrummagers – but with other talents thrown in!


Richard McIntyre“Moving to the front row, David Manning was terrific at loose head, with plenty of raw power from his upper body strength, and he loved driving at opposing defenders to score close-range scrums or set up chances for others. He could also slot in the second row as a bonus but loved the hurly-burly nature of the front row.

“Neil Brace was one of several good hookers in the 20 years but I’m probably one of the few in the club who would make him first choice because others might have caught the eye first. “But he was durable in the front row and had an added advantage that he was a useful place kicker – and captained the club for a season.

“Richard McIntyre is rightly regarded as one of the real characters at Bierspool in the past two decades as a real grafter and solid scrummager but who also loved being involved with his short passes in handling moves. Once described by a rugby reporter as a wannabee No 10 in a No 3 jersey (sorry Richard!) he was even known to throw in a little sidestep – and one of the nicest players in local rugby!

“Gary Burns could well have been included at prop and I would understand criticism for not making him first choice. Big and strong, but also very mobile, Gary could influence matters up front – and often did!

“Ian Osbourne has been a great club servant as a strong-scrummaging tight-head prop and more recently as a coach – whilst Dean Wilcox was also considered because as well as his front-row duties loved getting around the field.


Outstanding quality at second row


Michael Scourfield“One of the outstanding players was second row Michael Scourfield, who followed in the family tradition as a 100% Quins man in an outstandingly long career which he followed up as a coach and is now the club chairman. He was excellent at the front of the lineout and a natural ball career with good hands as a bonus. Never shirked a confrontation and relished his tackling too!

“Joe Powell was another excellent second row who switched to flanker but sadly moved on to a higher standard in the National Leagues set-up. Supremely athletic and an asset in the linesout – but his ability to get about the field and be involved in attack or defence made him able to also play back row, where his performances ensured he moved on to pastures new.

“Mike Davis was an excellent man to have in the lineouts and Gavin Nicholas also played well there for us.”


A back row with a range of skills


Gareth Scourfield “Alex Pierce gains selection as flanker for his speed about the park and his ability to tackle all day – and his support play ensured that he scored his fair share of tries. His defensive play was also of a high standard because he loved being involved with some big hits that got The Quins out of trouble.

“Lance Tallett was something of an underrated played in the back row but he had a solid touch on the ball and again was a terrific supporter on long distance raids which brought tries. He was regarded as a nuisance by the opposition for his ability to slow down their ball and eventually represented The Armed Forces when he enlisted: further proof of his ability.

“Like his older brother Michael, Gareth Scourfield was a clear choice at No 8 because of his strength, lineout work and really good handling skills. He did a great job with his ability to pick up at the base of scrums and link quickly with his scrum half or flankers. His ability to read play was another plus for a very talented ball player.

“We have always been blessed with excellent back rowers and others I have always rated are Phil Hughes, a very dynamic player, Tom Powell (who went off to Narberth and still plays well there), and Rob Hay at No 8 (and another asset until he moved away).”


 Neil MachinRoy ScourfieldCurrent coaches doing well

“As coach, I would pick current incumbent Neil Machin, a level three coach who is known for his analytical approach, and ably assisted by Ian Osbourne. Others I would love to see eventually return to the fold would be Paul and Lee Rogers, who still have a lot to give back to their club after such great service as players.

“Simon Lloyd is also the current very committed team manager but the main man in this role for many years was the late Roy Scourfield, who was also Quins through and through as a player. He had the respect of everyone at the club and I’m sure would be everyone’s nomination for this important job!"