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Reds earn first home win



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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Wanderers edged out by Gowerton



LLANELLI Wanderers came close to victory against Gowerton on Saturday (Feb 16) but were unable to find a winning score as they were beaten 14-18.

Gowerton had taken the lead early on with a penalty and an unconverted try gave them an 8-0 lead at half time.

The Wanderers hit back in the second half with Sianco Morgan going over for the try and the conversion from Lewis Jones brought them to within a point of their opponents.

They then took the lead as Lloyd Thomas went over and Jones again added the extras to make it 14-8.

Gowerton hit back with a converted try of their own and they were back in the lead by a single point.

They then scored a penalty to make it 14-18 with six minutes to play. Try as they might the Wanderers could not find a way through and they had to settle for a losing bonus point.

The Wanderers are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they travel to Crymych.

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Nant hold off Trimsaran



NANTGAREDIG remain unbeaten in League 3 West B after they sealed a narrow 17-18 win away to promotion rivals Trimsaran on Saturday (Feb 16).

The visitors took the lead with an early penalty scored but Trimsaran responded well with a try to take the lead but the conversion was missed and the home side led 5-3.

Nant hit back and got their first try of the game thanks to and the extras were added for a 3-10 lead.

They then extended their lead to 5-15 with an unconverted try and with half time looming, the lead was extended further with another penalty.

Lloyd Williams kicked one conversion and two penalties. Ben Nichols scored a try and Rhydian Evans scored the other.

Photo by Darren Harries

With the score 18-5 at the break Trimsaran knew they would need to play well in the second half and they very nearly pulled off an excellent comeback.

Trimsaran scored two good tries with the latter try bringing the score to 17-18 setting up a nervy finish for both sides.

However, it was Nantgaredig who showed why they have not lost a game this season as they held on for the win.

They have now won 24 games on the bounce and look favourites for the title and promotion this season.

On Friday (Feb 22), Trimsaran are at home as they take on Penybanc with the game kicking off at 7:15pm.

Nantgaredig are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they host CR Cymry Caerdydd in the quarter final of the WRU Bowl.

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Kidwelly come from behind to win thriller



WITH both sides residing in a similar league position in Division 1 and a spot in the Senior Cup Quarter finals up for grabs, all was set for a close encounter between Kidwelly and Felinfoel on Saturday (Feb 16).

Felinfoel had home advantage and, having already beaten their opponents 3-1 earlier in the season, they were favourites to advance to the next round, but nothing is ever that simple in football.

During the first fifteen minutes Felinfoel dominated possession with much of the play happening in and around the Kidwelly box.

Felinfoel took the lead with twenty minutes gone when a dangerous cross was delivered towards the back post which resulted in a well-taken goal.

After the restart Kidwelly showed signs of resurgence with brothers Connor and Jordan Howells linking up well in midfield and creating problems for Felinfoel.

Photo by Darren Harries

The fightback, however, was short lived as Felinfoel sent a wide free kick into the box and the ball was headed into the back of the net.

There was not much Kidwelly could have done about either goal as the deliveries for each were superb.

With five minutes left of the first half and Kidwelly not threatening much, they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Winger Rob Hammond sent a superb high ball into the box and Kyle Griffiths, former centre-back turned midfielder, flicked the ball over the keeper and into the net to give Kidwelly a glimmer of hope.

The half time whistle went and even though Felinfoel had the better of the half Kidwelly had shown good resilience and were pleased to be only 2-1 down at the break.

The second half started with both sides playing at a high tempo with Kidwelly in a confident mood having scored before the break and having come from behind to win in other games this season.

As the game continued both teams were battling hard with some big tackle flying in. Kidwelly had far more possession in the second half and created numerous good chances.

Kidwelly were playing some good stuff but it wasn’t until the hour mark when Rob Hammond, Kidwelly’s top goal scorer, latched on to a huge goal kick and delivered a clinical finish to make it 2-2.

Not long after that, Hammond again latched on to a forward pass and with a bit of creativity managed to turn the defender and find the bottom corner with a quality finish to put his side into the lead.

Felinfoel looked to get back in the game and Kidwelly manager Gareth Evans introduced fresh legs replacing hardworking Liam Jones with club captain Luc Fitzpatrick who was returning from injury.

Photo by Darren Harries

This was an attempt to keep Felinfoel at bay but they threw everything they could at the makeshift Kidwelly keeper Danny Coleman, normally a number ten. However, Coleman made some tremendous saves and put his body on the line on numerous occasions.

Kidwelly survived three goal-mouth scrambles and on one occasion had ten players behind the ball trying to keep it out.

Unfortunately for Kidwelly, during one of those scrambles, veteran Chris Cray volleyed his goal keepers arm meaning Coleman would have to go off injured. He was replaced by striker Aled Giley with Daniel Griffiths, who was having an excellent game, having to go between the sticks for the rest of the game.

Both sides battled until the end with more strong tackles flying in but Kidwelly full backs Tom Hughes and Daniel Fitzpatrick had faced quality opposition wingers and came out on top.

Felinfoel played their part in an excellent cup game but Kidwelly, who have recently won five games on the bounce in Division 1, showed great resilience and team spirit to earn a thrilling win.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Kidwelly are at home as they play Pontlliw in the quarter final of the same competition, kick off 1:45pm.

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