Report by Alan Evans
GRENIG Park has proved to be something of a graveyard in the past for the Reds, but in their penultimate league game of the season on Wednesday (May 9), they defied the odds, and came away with a creditable win, although they were pushed to the limit by their opponents.
All the goals came in the first half, with the hosts taking the lead through Craig Spring, before some top class finishing by Chris Jones, Jordan Follows and James Loveridge eased the visitors into a half time advantage.
However, they have goalkeeper Craig Morris to thank in the second period as he pulled off a number of important saves which kept the Cwm attack at bay, while Rob Jones in the home goal was seldom tested.
After an early Loveridge effort was diverted for a corner, Cwm went ahead on 14 minutes when the ball was circulated to the right where Spring despatched a speculative attempt across the face of goal, and it struck the inside of the far post and into the net.
The lead was short-lived, as within three minutes a Reds move involving Lee Trundle and Joe Clarke ended with Jones striking a superb 25 yard shot which rocketed low past the keeper.
When the home side countered, Chris Allen lofted his finish over the top when he was found in space, before the visitors struck again in the 21st minute following a delivery by Loveridge which was met by Follows on the volley to comprehensively beat Jones.
The Reds were well on top at this stage, and increased the lead further after 34 minutes when a typical piece of Trundle magic saw him nutmeg a defender with a backheel which found Clarke, and he in turn played in Loveridge who fired home.
With a two goal cushion at the break, the visitors were probably confident of adding to the tally, but the second period proved to be something of an anti-climax with their opponents mainly dictating play, and Morris was by far the busier of the two keepers.
His first save was a block to deny Rhys Morgan when he found himself unmarked close to goal, and then did even better by pushing over a close range header by Allen following a free kick into the goalmouth.
Robert Thomas brought off a timely tackle on Colin Harris when he threatened to break through on the Reds` goal, and he was a thorn to the visitors throughout, playing in Allen who was again thwarted by Morris who got down to divert his finish for a corner.
Cwm were now in the ascendancy, pegging back their opponents who were being confined to long range attempts, with Follows curling one just wide and then being closed down in the box by Gareth Howarth when Clarke set up the chance.
Kyle Ashford was the next home player to offer up a threat, but again Morris was equal to the task, keeping out his near post shot.
The visitors` made a number of changes, with Liam Samuel, Ross Jones and Luke Morgan replacing Kyle Graves, Clarke and Loveridge respectively, but the contest ended with Morris again in action, this time saving from Spring when he directed a close range header goalwards following a Jack Medwin free kick.
The Reds finish their league campaign on Saturday (May 12), when they travel to Cwmbran Celtic.
Cwmamman still have two league games to play starting on Saturday when they take on Goytre away. That is followed by their final game at home on Wednesday, May 16, against Cwmbran Celtic.
Old Gold charged by FAW
CARMARTHEN Town have been charged with allegedly playing an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town on New Years Day.
A statement from the Football Association of Wales states that the charge relates to David Vincent who had been suspended having accumulated five yellow cards.
The statement reads: “The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has charged Carmarthen Town AFC under FAW Rule 38.1.6 and Welsh Premier League Rule 18 with allegedly playing an ineligible player during their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town AFC on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
“The charge relates to the playing of David Vincent, who was suspended as and from December 28, 2018 for one match for the accumulation of five yellow cards.
“Carmarthen have seven business days until January 16, to respond to the charge. The matter will be heard by an FAW Disciplinary Panel at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Llanelli and Llandovery through in Cup
LLANELLI and Llandovery are both through to the second round of the WRU National Cup after they secured first round victories on Saturday (Jan 5).
Llandovery eased through to the second round as they scored a century of points against Championship side Beddau.
The Drovers scored 16 tries and 12 conversions with Corey Baldwin scoring four of those tries.
Kristian Jones also scored two tries and had all twelve conversions for a personal points haul of 34.
There were also braces for Joseff Powell and Carwyn Evans. Dino Dallavalle, Lewis Ellis-Jones, Lee Rees, Rhodri Jones and replacement Llew Smith also crossed the whitewash as the home side sealed a 104-0 victory.
Llanelli also went through after also beating Championship side Ystrad Rhondda 18-32.
Taylor Davies was first on the scoresheet for Llanelli and Ashley Sutton then added a penalty. Kalum Evans and Thomas Rogers then scored tries for the visitors while Sutton converted the second of the two.
Gareth George also scored while Rogers grabbed his second try to which Sutton added the extras to seal the win.
Carmarthen Quins were agonisingly knocked out of the first round after a late Rhys Jones penalty gave Ebbw Vale a 19-20 victory.
Aled Thomas scored an early penalty for the Quins to level things up but the Vale took the lead only for Osian Knott to score a try to which Thomas added the extras to level the game at 10-10.
The Vale took the lead again but a Thomas penalty on the stroke of half time kept them in it at 13-17.
Thomas then kicked two second half penalties to put the Quins ahead and it looked as if they would go through but Jones had other ideas as his penalty won it for the Vale.
Newcastle Emlyn bowed out of the competition as they were beaten 21-36 by Premiership strugglers Bargoed.
The Emlyn were very much in the game at half time with the score at 21-22 in favour of Bargoed but they took control in the second half to seal their passage.
The draw for the second round was made on Tuesday (Jan 8) and it saw Llanelli drawn away to fellow Premiership side Pontypridd.
Llandovery were given a home tie against Trebanos who saw off Maesteg Quins in the first round.
Those ties will be played on the weekend of January 26, but before that all sides return to Premiership action on Saturday (Jan 12).
The Quins face Bargoed looking to respond to their Cup defeat while Llandovery are at home to Bedwas and Llanelli are away to Merthyr.
Blacks hold on to deny Seagulls
BURRY Port held off a strong second half comeback from Fishguard as they earned victory by a single point in a thrilling game which finished 35-34 in favour of the Blacks on Saturday (Jan 5).
The Blacks were on a five-match losing streak while Fishguard were looking to bounce back after being beaten by Pembroke in their last game.
The game started at a frantic pace with Burry Port’s Luke Ruddal gathering their own kick at kick off and piling on the pressure on the Seagull’s try line, and with quick ruck ball Ruddal darted over for the opening score.
The Blacks definitely had a spring in their step and looked dangerous with ball in hand, a cross field kick looked as if it would bring another score only for winger Tom Davies to just lose control. This didn’t stop the Blacks and from a driving lineout 10m out and the home pack rolling to the try line, the referee awarded a penalty try and yellow card for collapsing the maul.
Burry Port continued to apply the pressure and tried hard to make the extra man count and with Youth winger Tom Davies making up for this early mistake finished a fine try, A penalty soon after by outside half Ceiron Thomas stretched the lead further.
Fishguard however were in no mood to roll over, a rare outing into the Burry Port half saw a lovely cross field kick work perfectly for Ed Bendall to run in unopposed.
This started a period of good play by the visitors and forced Burry Port into some errors and giving Penalties away, and with good field position managed to force another try from close range through Chris Shousha.
Burry Port hit straight back with a move on half way slicing the defence apart for winger Tom Davies to race in for this second and the bouns point try.
The game continued to be played at a frantic pace and Burry port were enjoying themseleves, another excellent team try was finished off by that man again Tom Davies who completed his Hat trick and surely left Fishguard to much to do to get back in the game, score 32-10.
The last play of the half from the restart saw Fishguard regain possession and manage to put the Blacks under pressure and after a few advantages from the referee for Burry Port ill-discipline saw a yellow card given to Burry Port.
With Fishguard knowing a penalty wasn’t enough to get back in the game they opted for a scrum and after a few phases a missed tackle allowed Ben John to cross under the posts and give them a lifeline for the second half.
The second half was a totally different affair with Burry Port looking to protect their lead by opting for territory rather than possession and resulted in them kicking far too much ball away.
Fishguard seemed to enjoy having the ball more and with some powerful runners in their ranks started causing Burry Port problems. A few loose kicks were capitalised on by the Fishguard back 3 and after another fine cross field kick saw them get a well-deserved try, scored by Jordan James to make it 32-22 and bring the Seagulls back in the game.
Burry Port failed to convert a few chances and the supporters could sense a bit of uncertainty creeping in. Another yellow card added to the worries of the Burry Port team, and a break by the visitors led to another try from Ed Bendall and the momentum had most definitely shifted to the Seagulls.
The score was now 32-27 and both sides knew the next score would be vital with time running out.
Finally Burry Port stopped kicking the ball away and after a long phase of ball in hand worked their way up field and once in kicking range forced a penalty which fullback Ben Williams put over to put the Blacks a crucial 8 points ahead with only a couple of minutes remaining.
Fishguard had already secured a try bouns point and even though there might not have been enough time to get the two scores needed for victory there was a losing point up for grabs and to their credit they managed just that with the ref calling last play and Fishguard managing to keep the ball alive and James crossed at the death for his second to also get an important score which could prove crucial come the end of season.
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