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Scarlets edged out by Ulster

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SCARLETS were narrowly beaten by Ulster in their Heineken Champions Cup game at Parc Y Scarlets on Friday (Dec 7).

A late try had brought them to within a point but they were unable to find a winning score and Ulster held on for a 25-24 win.

Scarlets got the game underway through Rhys Patchell and Ulster knocked the ball on handing possession straight back to the home side. The Scarlets were given a penalty which Patchell sent through the post to give them a 3-0 lead inside the first minute.

On the five-minute mark Ulster found themselves in Scarlets territory with advantage after Scarlets are penalised for offside. The Ulstermen decided to kick for the posts and scrum half John Cooney brought them level.

Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale then ran through Scarlets defence scoring the first try of the evening in the corner. Cooney’s conversion attempt was wide of the mark but Ulster go ahead for the first time.

Lewis Rawlins is taken for a HIA assessment after a big tackle from Sean Reidy. He catches him high and both go off for an assessment. Steve Cummins is on for Rawlins.

Photo by Darren Harries

Scarlets stepped up the pace a little after that tackle pushed in to Ulster’s 22. An attacking phase sees Steff Evans cross the line. Patchell added the conversion putting the Scarlets back in front.

With only six minutes of the first half remaining Ulster got a second try through winger Henry Speight after a period of pressure in the home side’s 22. He crossed in the far corner making it too difficult a conversion for Cooney.

The Scarlets got a foothold late in the first half but couldn’t turn the pressure in to points, kicking the ball in to touch. Ulster kicked themselves out of the pressure position and the score finishes 10-13 at half time.

Scarlets returned to the field in advance of Ulster looking to get a strong start to the second half. Some positive play returns in the form of pressure for Scarlets but unusual handling errors meant that Ulster keep themselves in Scarlets territory.

Ulster were then awarded a scrum penalty on Scarlets’ 10 metre line despite their tighthead pulling the scrum down. They kicked to the corner and set up an attacking phase with a line out on the 22. Centre Will Addison crossed under the posts and scrum half Cooney adds the conversion, 10-20.

As the game passed the 50-minute mark the Scarlets began to find their mojo. Jonathan Davies got them moving in to opposition territory.

The Scarlets ran it from the base of the scrum. There was great work from the forwards to win important territorial gains but they were then penalised for holding on and Ulster won a penalty under the posts which they kicked to touch.

Johnny McNicholl got  the Scarlets moving once again in the right direction. He had great support from his backline and winger Steff Evans gathers and spotted a gap on the touchline to go over the whitewash for his second of the evening. Patchell added the conversion to make it 17-20.

Just as soon as Scarlets get back within three points Ulster hit back with a third try. They got down in to Scarlets territory and ran strongly in midfield and despite what looks like a knock on play continues. Number eight Marcell Coetzee crossed the whitewash. Captain Ken Owens protests that there was a potential knock on and the referee consults the TMO for confirmation. He’s happy that the ball goes back and try is awarded. The wind pulled the conversion attempt across the posts.

Scarlets got back down in to Ulster territory. Johnny McNicholl gets the ball out to Steff Evans who ran along the touchline. He looked like he may make it a hat-trick but he was bundled in to touch.

Scarlets kept building and a try came from replacement flanker Dan Davis. Dan Jones added the conversion but the Scarlets were still a point behind.

The clock turned 80 but the Scarlets managed to keep the game alive. They won a penalty in the shadow of Ulster’s uprights, a kick to touch handed them a line out on the 10-metre line. Scarlets made territorial gains but they were unable to get the penalty required and Ulster saw the game out.

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Sport

Ammanford back on track

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AMMANFORD got their season firmly back on track with a decisive eight wicket victory over local rivals Pontarddulais at the Park on Saturday (Jun 15).

It was a good toss to win, since the covers had been on all week due to the ever present showers.

Matthew Fisher, without hesitation, put Bont in to bat and reaped the reward in the first over when opener Gary Arrowsmith was unluckily run out whilst backing up from the bowler’s end.

But from there on it was the home side’s bowling and fielding which took control.

Opener Paul Rees (40) put up the only real resistance as Bont were dismissed for 137 in the final over.

Josh Davies and Andrew Salter took three wickets each whilst Dan Roberts picked up a further two.

The excellence of the fielding was exemplified by Rhys Davies with three catches, the third of which compared very favourably with the recent and much vaunted spectacular effort of England’s Ben Stokes.

With 50 overs to reach a modest 138, Ammanford’s openers Rhys Culley (27) and Elis Richards (37) provided the perfect response.

Refusing to be hurried in any way, they clung tightly to their respective wickets and built an invaluable opening stand of 77.

When they eventually departed, Andrew Salter (35no) and Dan Roberts (19no) were given licence to finish the game in dramatic fashion with 8 boundaries and 2 sixes.

Ammanford waltzed past the Bont target with eight wickets and 11 overs to spare.

The win takes them up to fifth place in the table, only 22 points behind league leaders St Fagans in what is turning out to be a wide-open title race.

On Saturday (Jun 22) they are away to bottom placed Newport, who recorded only their second win of the season on Saturday (Jun 15).

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Young winger joins Ammanford

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AMMANFORD AFC are delighted to announce that young winger Tristan Jenkins has joined the club ahead of the 2019/2020 season.

The young winger had previously played for JD Welsh Premier League outfit Llanelli Town, but has now left the club in order to link up with the Welsh League Division One outfit.

The youngster made his debut for the Reds last term in the top flight, and was chosen in the final 18 man squad for the Welsh College’s Under 18s squad last season.

Upon joining the club, Jenkins stated: “I’m delighted to have joined the club, I’m looking forward to playing with a different group of players. I can’t wait to get started.”

Manager Gruff Harrison added: “Delighted to bring Tristan into the club. He fits all the characteristics we are looking for in a player. He is young and hungry with great quality, which is the perfect mixture.”

Ammanford welcome Tristan to the football club and look forward to working with him in the forthcoming season.

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Towy Riders prove that local members can reach the very highest levels

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TOWY RIDERS Cycle Club is a rare gem of a club in the far West of the UK. With its home at the fantastic Carmarthen Velodrome it provides opportunities for riders to enjoy and excel at cycling. Often elite sport pathways are hard to find and navigate but Towy Riders has proved that a local member can reach the very highest levels of competitive cycling from a start in Carmarthen Park and are proud to support the final stage of the Ovo Energy Women’s Tour today (June 15).

Founded in 2007 and based at the historic Carmarthen Park and Velodrome, a hub for cycle sport for 119 years, Towy Riders Cycle Club has grown into one of
the most successful clubs for youth performance development and achievements in the UK.

Towy Riders Cycle Club caters for all ages and abilities and its riders always make a memorable impression in their distinctive Gold and Red Kit wherever they ride and compete.
An accredited British Cycling ‘Go-Ride’ club the first in Wales, Towy Riders Cycle Club offer a broad base of enjoyable and progressive cycle skills development,
together with structured coaching for all ages and abilities. Coaching is provided by a team of British Cycling-registered and qualified coaches.​ It welcomes new members of all ages and abilities from 6 to 106 years of age.

The Club runs regular coached sessions in Carmarthen and the surrounding area for beginners and improvers alike, with many youth members, progressing to
take part in organised events throughout Wales, the UK and beyond. The club boasts a proud record of many former members, especially girls, advancing to
the highest standard and representing Wales and Team GB or Pro teams.

Carmarthen Velodrome – a history

Carmarthen Velodrome and Park, the home of Towy Riders Cycle Club, has a long standing heritage of sports and recreational cycling.

The 405 metre banked oval track was built within the park grounds for the people of Carmarthenshire and opened on Easter Monday in 1900.

It became a sporting hub where thousands of spectators would watch the Herculean efforts of bygone racers charging round the track on their E.C. Simmons bikes. It is believed to be the oldest outdoor concrete velodrome in the World in almost continuous use for over 100 years until 2015 when the track surface had deteriorate and became unsuitable for modern competition and events.

Thanks to local & National support it has recently secured large investments from Sports Wales, Carmarthenshire County Council & Carmarthen Town Council. This enabled the completion of a full restoration program to the track in 2017 with more than 230 concrete panels replaced as part of a £600,000 renovation project. It now boasts an all-weather surface and the additional safety features that are required to ensure it is once again able to showcase major events.

The track is now in full operation and managed through Carmarthen Town council. It is open to the public to use anytime there is not a pre-booking. Welsh Cycling and professional coaches often run training sessions on the track for a wide range of abilities.

Significant Achievements

Towy Riders has dominated the podiums of youth racing Nationally over the years with particular success with female riders. Youth riders travel all over the country to participate in the National Road and Track championships and other race series.

Towy Riders also have a large representation in both the GB and the Welsh teams, at both youth and senior level

Outline rider profiles:

Manon Lloyd – Under 23 European champion and represented Team GB worldwide, now a successful road rider for “Drops” currently riding in the Ovo Womens Tour. https://www.dropscycling.com/ Represented Wales in the Commonwealth games on the road and track. Towy Riders are really excited to see former Towy Rider Manon Lloyd riding as a professional in the Ovo Womens Tour, for many of the young riders this will be their first exposure to professional women’s cycling. To see a former club member riding the best bikes, supported by professional mechanics and riding at the very highest level of professional women’s cycling is really inspiring.

Scott Davies – currently rides for the world pro team Dimension. Palmares includes multiple national road and TT champion titles, winner of the Junior Tour of Wales and recently completed his first Grand Tour the Giro D Italia. The Towy Riders were out in force last year to support Scott as he competed in the OVO mens tour of Britain when it came to Carmarthenshire.

Jessica Roberts – multiple National Champion on the road and track, current women’s National Road champion. Rides for GB senior academy and has dominated the Tour Series this year, now looks forward to European Championships. Represented Wales in the Commonwealth games last year on the track and road

Ella Barnwell – multiple National Champion on the road and track as a youth. Rides for GB junior academy, world championship medallist, now looks forward to junior European and World championships

Emma Finucane – multiple National Champion on the road and track as a youth. Rides for GB junior academy as a sprinter now looks forward to junior European and World Track championships

Eluned King – successful career in cyclocross and National road champion as a youth. Rides for GB junior academy.

Awen Roberts – Welsh champion and dominates the Youth series on both the road and Track.

Owain Roberts – current Welsh TT champion, Bryn Davies, Cian Roberts and Amy Cole are all members of the Welsh Cycling junior team.

Anthony Jones – is a coach and veteran cyclist with current titles of Welsh 50 mile and 12 hour time trial champion. Tony’s record set last year saw him complete 297.29miles, averaging 24.77mph for 12 hours.

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