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Reds earn first home win

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THIS may not have been a classic by any means, but the Reds will not mind that in the slightest as they at last recorded their first home win of the season on Saturday (Nov 17), as well as completing a double over their opponents following a 2-3 win at The Rock last August.

Fielding a virtually full-strength side with players returning from suspension, they demonstrated a far more positive attitude than of late, following two heavy defeats on the road at Connah`s Quay Nomads and Newtown.

Defensively they looked sound, although a strangely lethargic Druids outfit did not pose too many problems, and seldom tested Oliver Davies in the home goal.

James Loveridge and Chris Jones in either half ensured the points, a result which lifts them off the bottom rung of the table for the first time in many weeks, being replaced by Llandudno, who went down 1-2 to Carmarthen Town.

Early efforts by Chris Thomas and Kurtis March were unsuccessful, and when a careless pass allowed James Davies to gain possession and set off on a run on the home goal, he was halted by a good tackle from Daniel Alfei.

The Reds` defender was then guilty of delivering a terrible ball across the face of the area which again set up Davies, but fortunately the covering defence quickly snuffed out the threat.

Photo by Darren Harries

Both sides were being careless in their distribution, allowing their opponents to launch counter attacks, but the nearest either came to a sniff of a chance arose when Thomas found Loveridge on the edge of the box, and his first time volley was kept out  by goalkeeper Michael Jones at the near post.

Alfei did well to clear from Arkadiusz Piskorski when he was found in the area, while efforts from Dean Rittenberg and Ryan Kershaw were dealt with comfortably by Davies.

The Druids` management team of Huw Griffiths and Jayson Starkey had been verbal throughout, and referee Dean John finally lost patience, ordering the latter out of the dugout to the stand.

With the half entering stoppage time, the Reds at last achieved a breakthrough, when Loveridge accepted a ball in space before deftly lofting it over the oncoming figure of Jones into a vacant net.

On the basis of play, the hosts deserved to be in the lead, and might well have added to it early after the restart when a move involving Jordan Follows and Jones looked to have the potential of releasing Loveridge on a clear run at goal, but he mistimed it, and an offside flag brought it to an end.

The visitors retaliated through Kershaw when he was set up by Iwan Cartwright, and his final effort flashed fractionally off target.

But it was the hosts who struck again on 72 minutes with Loveridge holding off the attentions of Nathan Peate and make a run to the near post, before delivering a pass to the far upright where Jones had made ground before finishing off and slotting it beyond the goalkeeper.

Buoyed by this cushion, the Reds were now firmly in control, with their opponents offering little in the way of attacking options, and the final result was a testament to the team spirit within the squad, with the bad experiences of the past few weeks already evaporating.

The only drawback is that without a game next weekend the impetus cannot be maintained, and they will have to kick their heels until Saturday, December 1, when Caernarfon Town will be the visitors, and hopefully a further three points could be in the offing.

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More signings as Cwm build squad

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FOLLOWING on from announcing their three new signings last week Cwmamman United have announced a further six this week.

Nathan Davies, who has captained the Carmarthenshire League Select side, joins from Bwlch Rangers while Rob Morgans joins having played with Haverfordwest County and Goodwick United previously.

They also announced the signing of four tremendously talented young players in Oliver Diamond, Korey Palmer, Stevie Evans and Joe Lewis.

“We are really pleased to have these boys on board as we are not only strengthening our first team squad with some really talented players ” said Ryan Stephens, First Team Manager, “but we are also building for the future.”

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Ammanford romp to friendly win

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AMMANFORD romped away in a goal fest in this pre season friendly beating their plucky opponents Pontarddulais by ten goals to nil on Friday (Jul 12).

Ammanford Manager Gruffydd Harrison will be pleased with his teams workout and even more excited with his forward line finishing prowess.

There were hat tricks for Gavin Jones who showed excellent pace and new signing Tristan Jenkins along with goals from Lee Trundle, Bruno Forkouh, Mathew Fisher and Craig Frater.

Ammanford have another friendly this Friday (Jul 19) when they take on Ynysygerwn.

After that they travel to Pontardawe Town on Tuesday (Jul 23) before a trip to Welsh Premier League neighbours Carmarthen Town on Saturday (Jul 27).

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Carmarthenshire cyclist heading to Mont Blanc

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WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE in full swing and the World’s best doing battle against each other, there is another big cycling event taking place within the French Alps.

The Tour du Mont Blanc claims to be the Worlds toughest road cycling event and Llangadog based cyclist, Matthew Page will be lining up and attempting to complete the arduous route.

The event is a non-stop, circumnavigation around the alpine peak of Mont Blanc, starting in France alpine resort of Les Saisies and heads through Switzerland and Italy before returning to finish back in Les Saisies.

Covering a total of 330km (205 miles) with 8300 vertical metres (27,300 feet) of climbing it is roughly the equivalent to tackling two of the toughest Tour de France stages, back to back without stopping and takes in well known alpine passes including the Grand Saint Bernard, Petit Saint Bernard, Cormet de Roseland and Col de la Forclaz.

Matthew is a former professional Mountain Biker, who competed internationally and specialised in 24hr solo competitions and also Carmarthenshire Sports Personality winner. Now a cycle event organiser and cycling media journalist he organises major off-road events within the county including Battle on the Beach, Gritfest and in November 2019 will be organising a round of the British Cycling cyclocross national series within Pembrey Country Park.

With less than 50% of starters likely to finish, Matthew is understandably apprehensive about the challenge: “This will undoubtedly be one of the hardest days I will ever encounter on the bike and despite having done 24hr events previously, the extra challenges the Tour du Mont Blanc brings, including lack of a support crew, route navigation, logistics and uncertain weather especially at higher altitudes. The event has been a major focus for me this year and I am looking forward to the challenge”.

The event takes place on Saturday July 20, with the fastest riders expected to finish in under 12 hours.

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