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Carmarthen and Llanelli look to avoid upsets

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CARMARTHEN Town and Llanelli Town will both look to avoid cup upsets on Saturday (Dec 8) as they play their JD Welsh Cup third round matches.

Carmarthen Town are away to Welsh League Division 1 side Goytre United while Llanelli Town are also on the road as they go Anglesey to take on Llangefni Town.

Llangefni have enjoyed a good run so far having won in the North section of the cup beating Saltney Town 4-0 to qualify for the main draw.

In Round 1 they beat Borth United 2-0 and they followed that up with a 5-1 thumping of St Asaph in Round 2.

The North-Walians currently sit top in Division 1 of the Welsh Alliance League with eight wins and a draw from their ten games so far this season.

It means they will likely provide stiff competition for Andy Hill’s Reds who currently sit second bottom in the Welsh Premier League.

Photo by Darren Harries

The Reds have three wins and two draws from their sixteen league games so far but have a draw and a win from their last two matches.

They will be looking to keep their mini run going into the Welsh Cup and a win could give them a boost ahead of League games away to Cardiff Met and at home to Bala Town.

Carmarthen have had a similarly tough start to their Welsh Premier League season with just four wins and four draws to their name so far.

They also have a similar record to the Reds from their last two games and will again be looking to enjoy a good cup run.

The Old Gold reached the quarter final stages last season before being beaten by Aberystwyth and they will be hoping for a repeat of that run.

They come up against a Goytre United side currently sitting seventh in Division 1 of the Welsh Leagues.

Like Carmarthen they also have four wins and four draws from their twelve games so far this season.

They enjoyed a 6-1 thrashing of Port Talbot Town in their last match and they are a team that has goals in them having drawn 3-3 with Undy and rivals Goytre 4-1 in previous matches.

They will also provide a stiff test for the Old Gold and Manager Neil Smothers told the Herald: “The game against Goytre is one that we are very much looking forward to. The Welsh cup is always a big occasion for us and one we always look forward to playing in.

“The draw has given us a tricky away one with Goytre being an excellent club that have some very good players and a good management team, added to that they have some ex-players and it will be an extremely tough game (but it will also be good to catch up with some players).

“We will prepare correctly and will not be taking anything for granted but we are certainly looking forward to the challenge.”

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Points deduction for Old Gold

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CARMARTHEN Town have been deducted three points and fined £250 for fielding an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town on New Years Day.

An FAW Disciplinary Panel met last week to hear the charge against Carmarthen Town AFC after Dave Vincent, who should have been suspended for the game on January 1, played in that match.

Vincent should have served a one match suspension from December 28, 2018 for accumulating five cautions.

A spokesperson for the FAW said: “Carmarthen were charged with a Disciplinary Offence as set out under FAW Rule 38.1.2, for the alleged breach of Rule 18 of the JD Welsh Premier League Rules 2018/19 for playing an ineligible player.

“The Panel found the charge against Carmarthen to be proven, and as a result the club will be deducted three points from their League playing record, and fined £250.

“Carmarthen have until the close of business on February 18, 2019 to lodge an appeal against this decision.”

The three-point deduction means that Carmarthen would be eight points off the bottom two and it would also harm their chances of finishing at the top of the Welsh Premiership Conference.

Carmarthen Town have been asked for a comment on the matter.

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Young Borderers progress in Mike Fry Cup

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WHITLAND Youth held off a spirited fightback from Milford Haven on Saturday (Feb 9) as they won 14-15 on the 3G surface at The Obs to progress to the semi-finals of the Mike Fry Under 17 Cup.

Owen Palmer, Iolo Rees and Brandon Williams all scored unconverted tries for Whitland as they moved into a 7-15 lead.

Harry Charnley had scored Milford’s earlier try and as the second half wore on they looked to get themselves back into the game.

A surging run set up Joel Yeomans to dive over near the posts and the conversion brought them to within one point of the junior Borderers.

Whitland looked to seal their progress and went looking for a fourth try but lost the ball in contact near the line.

Milford came forward but a wayward lineout prevented any further progress.

The home side won the ball back but Whitland turned the ball over as time ran out and they kicked the ball out of play to seal their passage to the next round.

The young Borderers will now look forward to their semi-final tie which takes place on Saturday, February 23.

Elsewhere, Tenby went through with a 12-3 win over Pembroke and Crymych beat Aberystwyth 25-10.

The game between Fishguard and Neyland was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and is due to be played on Sunday (Feb 17).

The final will be played on March 16 at Tenby.

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Youthful Blacks stun Bont

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BURRY Port travelled to Bont with an impressive eight youth players in their ranks, 5 of whom started the match and two making their senior debuts.

The selection had raised a few eyebrows in the week but the coaching staff fully believed the Youth players had earned their place and were excited to see how they went against a good Division 2 team.

The first half was a scrappy affair with both teams trying to play rugby but failing to hold on to possession at crucial times, the referee was happy for both teams to play and controlled the game very well.

The stalemate was not broken until the 30th minute when a break up field by the home backs got them into the Burry Port 22 and after a couple of quick phases they managed to power over out wide to lead 5-0.

As the half time approached Burry Port were camped on the home team’s try line, twice being held up over the line and after refusing a couple of easy shots at goal searching for a try would have been disappointed to come up short and go into half time 5 nil down.

In the second half, now playing into the wind, Burry Port upped the tempo and got their ball carriers into the game more. They simplified the attack and they got the rewards, Captain Andy Francis got the first try, running hard and straight through his opposite number to finish under the posts to take a 7-5 lead.

Photo by Darren Harries

Burry Port now had their tails up and Bont were struggling to cope with the direct running of the Blacks ball carrying. A second try came after good approach play and a wonderful finish through live wire hooker Taran Galbraith to extend the lead to 12-5.

Bont knew they needed the next score but with the Burry Port defence dominating the contact area they failed to get any decent attacks going and from a turnover in mid field and some good hands saw flying wing Tom Davies cross in the corner to make it 17-5.

Burry Port brought on youngster Keelan Jewell at loose head to make it an all 18 year old front row and, with the addition of another two youth replacements Kingsley Powell and debutant Theo Barnes-Watson as well as scrum half Ben Williams, who all brought plenty of energy onto the field against a tiring home defence, meant the next try wasn’t long coming.

Centre Duane Evans found a gap and a lovely inside ball to supporting full back Adam Davies who dived over the line for the bonus point try.

Another try quickly followed as a 5m lineout attack from Burry Port was initially defended well but with Burry Port keeping the ball, replacement Powell barged over the line.

The game was won but Burry Port had one more score in them, with Adam Davies dancing around a few tired defenders to again cross under the posts to put the icing on a well-deserved victory for Burry Port.

Burry Port are next in action on Saturday (Feb 16) when they welcome St Clears to the Memorial Park, 2:30pm kick off.

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