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First point-to-point since 1980

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THE first Point-to-Point race meeting to be held within the county of Carmarthenshire since March 1980 will take place at Ffos Las Racecourse on Sunday, December 9.

In the intervening years the races have been held in Lydstep and Trecoed in Pembrokeshire.

Master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt, Dai Jones said: “It is with the goodwill of the Arena Racing Company, owners of Ffos Las Racecourse that we have been able to bring our fixture home to within our hunt boundaries.

“Looking back to that 1980 day in Llanybri it was when Peter Bowen, currently one of Britain’s top trainers, rode his only winner as a jockey. It also saw Mary William, who is the mother of top National Hunt trainer Evan Williams, successful in the Ladies’ Race. Who knows what might happen in this meeting.”

The gates at the West Wales course will open on the day at 9.30am with the first of seven races on the card starting at 11.30am. Entry is £10 for adults and there is unlimited parking. Racecards will be available from a number of outlets around the ground.

The band Echolalia will be playing in the bar before, during and after racing which will add to the family atmosphere of the day.

A special Christmas lunch package is being offered at £29 per head. This cost includes entry, a two course carvery lunch and a complimentary racecard. Bookings are available through Hanna Foligno, telephone 01554-811092.

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Sport

Cwmamman slide to 2-0 loss

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Cwmamman Utd 0
STM Sports 2

After the excellent win last week against top of the table Swansea University Cwm hoped to repeat the performance as they welcomed in form giant killers STM Sports to Grenig Park.
Cwm were again without 4 senior players due to injury and availability but went into the game with a lot of confidence. A cold dry day saw both sides looking to get warmed up quickly from the start and the game soon developed in to what was to be a hard fought end to end attacking match. The Blues saw 2 early chances go begging with Calem Rees just failing to get power behind a shot and then Ryan Thomas just curling a shot agonisingly past a post with the keeper beaten.
STM then had a goal disallowed for offside and on 15 min a poor clearance by Cwm saw a fierce swerving shot from outside the box rocketed home. Luke Williams was now starting to make inroads for Cwm with a shot fired over the bar when an innocuous knee injury forced him to leave the pitch to be replaced by Rob Morgans on 35 mins.
STM then had a period of pressure before the first half was brought to a close with a huge penalty shout for Cwm when Macsen Llewellyn was upended in the box. The second half was just as competitive with James Kirkwood producing a couple of great saves. The match then changed when a dangerous tackle went unchecked on a Cwm player and then following a tackle immediately afterwards by Calem Rees a melee in front of the STM bench saw him get a ref card on 53 mins.
The one man difference allowed STM to get a little more control in general play but apart from a great strike that hit the Cwm bar the Blues created the better of the chances with Llewellyn twice going close. Rob Jones , Liam Berner, Thomas and Llewellyn were having fine games for the Blues. The game was effectively gone on 73 mins which saw a punched clearance from Kirkwood fall to STM who rifled it in low and hard from the edge of the box.
Cwm continued to probe but STM’s recent big match experience held them in good stead. The crowd appreciated a brave performance having suffered an early loss through injury and being 10 men for a long period from a young Cwm side that saw 4 under 18 players in the side and which bodes well for future matches.

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Welsh Athletics celebrate success

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MORE than 200 people from all four corners of the country headed to the Vale Resort Hotel in Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan on Saturday evening (October 19) to attend the annual Welsh Athletics National Celebration Awards Dinner for 2019.
The evening celebrated all the successes and achievements that happened across the sport of athletics in Wales over the last 12 months with a large number of athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and club & group representatives in attendance.
There were twenty-eight awards up for grabs with an expert panel deciding on who the worthy winners were for each one. The awards were across a variety of categories…from clubs, groups and volunteers to officials, coaches and athletes.
Altogether, 22 individuals, 5 clubs and 1 group shared the awards on offer and were welcomed to the stage to be recognised for their contributions.
Hosts for the evening was ever-present Rob Cole and joining him on the stage this year was Mica Moore. Sam Gordon, Jeremiah Azu, Steve Perks, Matt Newman, James Williams, Dafydd Trystan and Kelly Southerton were others who spoke throughout the evening.
It was fantastic to receive confirmation a fortnight ago from the new Chair of Welsh Athletics, Steve Perks that Carmarthen & District Harriers Athletics Club had been nominated to receive the Welsh Athletics Junior Off-Track Club of the Year award at this year’s awards dinner in the Vale Resort Hotel.
Present from the athletics club on the evening and joining other deserving winners from across Wales were Jake Morgan (Club Chairman), Cressy Morgan (Club Secretary), Richard Jones (Club Treasurer), Alison Thomas (Officials Secretary), Neil Thomas, David Toogood, Carol Jones and Delyth Brown (Club Endurance Coaches), Dafydd Jones and Frank Morgan (Club under 15/17 Endurance Athletes) and Nathan Jones (Club Media Officer).
Cross Country and Road Running successes in 2018 and the start of 2019 from endurance young members contributed to the club winning this award in 2019.
The Welsh Athletics Clubs Cross Country Championships came to Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire for the first year back in February and saw the under-11 boys, under-13 boys, under-15 boys and the Female Master 40 teams come away with gold medals on home turf whilst there were bronze medals for the under-11 girls.
The under-13 boys and under-15 boys were victorious at the 2018 Welsh Athletics Road Relay Championships to match their cross-country championships titles. Back in September, the under-11 boys and under-13 boys came away with comfortably victories at the recent 2019 edition of the Road Relays Championships and have got off a great start to the 2019 winter season in October.
The under-11 boys and under-13 boys also became John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League team champions backed up by second place for under-13 girls and third for the novice girls.
Two of Carmarthen Harriers’ endurance athletes Dafydd Jones and Frank Morgan, both pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin were there to go up and collect the award on behalf of the whole club.
Another to be recognised locally in West Wales was coach Kevin Evans who continues to coach athletes at the track in Carmarthen and a great supporter of the club. After collecting the Endurance Performance Coach of the Year in 2018, Evans was the recipient of the “International Performance Coach of the Year” this time around.
President the award on stage was local Carmarthenshire athlete and one of Kevin’s training group, Dewi Griffiths who hopes to be back to full fitness soon.
International athletes in Wales voted for their “Athletes’ Athlete of the Year” and announced as the winner was Pembrokeshire Harriers’ Heather Lewis, who enjoyed a great season on the race-walking circuit. Elsewhere, James Tomlinson was the “Junior Track & Field Athlete of the Year.” It was a double success here with his coach Paul Jensen, the “Track & Field Performance Coach of the Year”.
Swansea Harriers picked up both the “Off Track Club of the Year” in the older categories whilst the juniors enjoyed success too and as a result, won the “Junior Track & Field Club of the Year”.

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Old Gold outplayed by Aber

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Nathaniel MG League Cup Quarter-Final
Carmarthen Town 0 – Aberystwyth 3

CARMARTHEN comfortably disposed of two Cymru South teams in the earlier rounds of this League Cup competition. Local CPL rivals Aberystwyth posed a far stiffer test for a place in the semi-finals. It was a challenge that the Old Gold never seemed likely to overcome.
Even before the match had begun, Town’s prospects looked grim.
Six of the current regular match-day squad were absent, injured, while Academy player Mabon Evans was given his first-team debut.
Manager Danny Thomas could name only two substitutes, both also from the Academy.
Early on, the play was evenly-balanced. Both teams enjoyed their fair share of possession. While both counter-attacked enthusiastically, there were no early scoring chances, as both defences coped with the intermittent pressure.
However, on 8 minutes the Seasiders created the first significant opportunity when Adam Hughes, on the half-way line, sent a fine pass through to Geoff Kellaway who from 20 yards dispatched a fierce volley that ‘keeper Lee Idzi turned aside with an impressive flying save.
Gradually, Aberystwyth took greater control of the game, progressively enjoying more possession and territory.
The Old Gold’s counter-attacking opportunities became even more sporadic and Liam Thomas increasingly looked isolated as the sole striker.
Even with the pressure, scoring chances for the visitors stayed elusive until the 29th minute, when Paulo Mendes hit a powerful long-range drive that Idzi was well-placed to claim.
On 43 minutes the Green Machine deservedly took the lead.
Wes Baynes made a determined run into the home penalty area to reach a long pass from Lee Jenkins but was promptly brought down under a clumsy challenge by Chris Jones. Matthew Jones stepped forward and confidently fired the spot-kick into the corner of the net leaving Idzi well-beaten.
After the interval, Carmarthen created an early scoring opportunity when Greg Walters sent the ball forward to the edge of the penalty area. Chris Jones laid off a neat header and Declan Carroll struck a fierce 20-yard drive that flew narrowly over the bar.
Moments later Walters was involved with another successful scoring opportunity; however, regrettably, this happened at the other end of the pitch.
Baynes sent a dangerous cross into the penalty area where Town’s combative midfielder, presumably attempting to clear the ball, only managed to divert it over Idzi and into the roof of the net.
With the Old Gold now in desperate need of a goal to salvage any chance of progressing to the Cup semi-finals, midfielder Chris Jones was sent forward to operate as a striker – but, curiously, this was not to partner Liam Thomas but to replace him since Town’s highly experienced, prolific, all-time record goal-scorer was pushed back to take over the now-vacant midfield role.
Sadly, it soon became evident that this strategy was having no positive effect.
The Seasiders continued to dominate possession, largely commanded the midfield, and swarmed forward at every opportunity. However, the Old Gold defence, well-marshalled by the experienced central partnership of Lee Surman and Dave Vincent, resisted the pressure – initially.
After 60 minutes Jenkins made a strong run from the half-way line before playing the ball on to Joe Phillips, just inside the penalty area, who fired a smart 15-yard drive narrowly over the bar.
Aberystwyth continued to increase the pace and intensity of their attacking and were soon carving through the overworked Town defence time and again.
In the 67th minute, Ryan Edwards threaded a fine pass through to Phillips who took the ball into the penalty area before clinically drilling it past Idzi and into the back of the net.
After their third goal, the visitors sat back to hold their advantage. While the Old Gold tried hard, late efforts by Jones and Carroll failed to put a dent in the scoreline.
This was a depressing performance; not just because it ended in defeat, but also because of its manner. It was a comprehensive defeat by a team that stands only two places above Carmarthen in the League table. With tougher challenges to come, the Old Gold will now aim at Cymru Premier League survival and better, more productive, performances.

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