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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Bowen's boot buries Blues
Quinnell brothers Scott (left) and Craig square up at Stradey
Scarlets (16) 35
Tries: Selley, Watkins
Cons: G Bowen (2)
Pens: G Bowen (7)
Blues (20) 20
Tries: Abdul, A Moore
Cons: N Robinson (2)
Pens: N Robinson (2)
Att: 4,966
A magnificent display of goal kicking from fly-half Gareth Bowen inspired the Scarlets to a fourth Celtic League victory of the season at Stradey Park.

Bowen finished with a personal haul of 25 points, comprised of seven penalties and two conversions, in an unblemished performance with the boot which took the home side to third spot in the league table.

The scoreline flattered the Scarlets, who had actually trailed going into the final quarter, but the Blues pressed the self-destruct button late on and Bowen gratefully obliged to do the rest for the home side.

Scarlets welcomed back number eight Scott Quinnell after a five-week absence with a neck injury and it did not take long for the British Lion to find his feet with a couple of trademark charges.

One brought to earth by a thumping tackle by younger brother Craig - himself returning to the Blues line-up following a six-week suspension.

After a scrappy opening it was the Scarlets who were first on the scoreboard with a Bowen penalty after eight minutes.

The Blues, who had dominated the early territory and possession responded with a try by skipper and lock Andy Moore following a fine break by fly-half Nicky Robinson.

Robinson's boot and a 75-yard interception try by wing Lee Abdul appeared to put the visitors in control, but the home side hit back strongly before the interval with a well-worked try for centre Matthew Watkins and two penalties by Bowen to reduce the deficit to 20-16.

It was both kickers who dominated in the second half with the Blues being punished for their indiscipline by Scarlets' outstanding number 10.

The Blues also had Quinnell sin-binned for ball-killing just as flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor had been in the first half.

A late try by wing Tal Selley put a gloss on the final result and the final word went fittingly to Bowen with a magnificent penalty from the halfway line.

Scarlets: Barry Davies; Tal Selley, Matthew J Watkins, Leigh Davies (capt), Salesi Finau; Gareth Bowen, Dale Burn; Phil John, Rhys Williams, John Davies, Adam Jones, Vernon Cooper, Emyr Lewis, Ian Boobyer, Scott Quinnell.
Replacements: David Maddocks, Adam Yelland, James Griffiths, Gareth Williams, Mike Phillips, Ceiron Thomas, Richard Rees.

Blues: Craig Morgan; Nick Walne, Jamie Robinson, Matt Allen, Lee Abdul; Nick Robinson, Andrew Moore; John Yapp, Gareth Williams, Ben Evans, Craig Quinnell, Andy Moore (capt), Jim Brownrigg, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Nathan Thomas.
Replacements: Kenneth Fourie, Andrew Lewis, Dan McShane, Rob Appleyard, James Malpas, Ryan Powell, Gareth McCarthy.

Referee: Tony Redmond (Ireland)



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