IT turned out to be a satisfactory afternoon for Llanelli Town, for as well as opening up a four point gap between themselves and their visitors at the foot of the table, courtesy of a brace by James Loveridge, the two teams immediately above them, Carmarthen Town and Cefn Druids, both lost, closing the points gap to five and six respectively.
Four new players made their debuts, although three of them – Scott Coughlan, Lee Bevan and Luke Morgan – are all ex-Reds, but the signing of Swansea City legend, Leon Britton, is probably the biggest coup the club has made, and is a tremendous morale-booster, both to the team and the Welsh Premier League.
Hopefully, his vast experience playing at the highest level will be the spur the Reds need to extricate themselves from their present predicament, and ensure their survival at the end of the season.
Llandudno, too, have been busy in the transfer window, bringing in Les Davies, Ryan Wade and Zebb Edwards who were all named in the starting line-up, and they were the first to threaten when a Toby Jones corner was headed against the bar by George Harry before the danger was cleared.
A run by Harry up the middle saw him unleash a shot which Coughlan dealt with comfortably, but he earned his reward on 12 minutes by putting the visitors ahead, meeting a ball into him on the half volley before turning and beating the home keeper.
The hosts were struggling somewhat to establish a foothold in the game, and they were hard pressed at times to contain their opponents, typified when Mark Connolly sent Harry clear up the right, and his delivery into the goalmouth could have gone anywhere, but deflected for a corner.
As the contest progressed, the Reds began to come to grips with proceedings, and Kurtis March fired wide of the near post from a Jordan Davies assist, before they levelled matters on the half hour through Loveridge, who seized on a pass by Chris Jones to beat goalkeeper Shaun Pearson inside his near post
The home striker went close again shortly after, seeing his finish flash fractionally wide, while Davies failed to make a clean connection when he was found in the box.
But within seven minutes of the equaliser, Loveridge struck again to notch up his brace when he was the recipient of a pass from Davies, before once again beating the Llandudno keeper with a well taken finish.
Narrowly ahead at the break, the Reds had once again to withstand some early pressure after the restart, when Telor Williams, who had replaced Zyaac Edwards at half time, forced Coughlan into a save when he met a cross into the middle.
Joe Clarke then sent Loveridge clear up the right where he made inroads into the box, but his final ball across the face of goal sailed just beyond the back post.
The next home threat arose when Scott Tancock burst through the middle and his fiercely struck shot was parried away by Pearson with Clarke meeting the rebound, only for a timely block to relieve the danger.
The visitors retaliated through Jones whose delightful delivery sent Alun Webb clear on a run down the right flank, and he cut inside but dragged his finish across the net and wide of the target.
With Llandudno desperately attempting to grab an equaliser, the Reds goal was surviving some close calls at times, but somehow it held out with Bevan a rock at the back, and when they countered, Loveridge, who was having an outstanding match, twice almost added to the tally.
He then set up Davies by crossing the ball into the goalmouth, but somehow the chance was lost when Pearson was able to hold on to the finish from point blank range.
The visitors might well have levelled matters shortly before the final whistle, when a corner by Jones found Davies, but he directed his header inches wide from a good position.
The home side hung on to clinch three precious points, and now face a visit to The New Saints on Saturday evening (Jan 12) for their final game prior to the mid-season split. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.
Cottage Inn 5K returns
FOR the second time, runners of all ages and abilities headed to The Cottage Inn Pub, Carmarthen Road on the outskirts of Llandeilo on Friday Evening (Sept 6) for an event which was first introduced 12 months ago in 2018.
Thanks to the great feedback from those in attendance at the debut event in September last year, here it was making a welcome return in the road running calendar once again!
The Cottage Inn Junior Mile & 5K distances was a road running race held to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support with a donation also made to the Llandeilo Mayor Fund.
After starting across the field from the Cottage Inn pub itself, the course took runners on an out-and-back loop around the quiet country lanes of the area.
Once the morning rain had cleared away, the evening sunshine in West Wales saw a total of 101 finish the 5K whilst 41 children got involved in the Junior Mile with a number of parents and guardians running alongside little ones.
All finishers who completed the course collected their finishers’ medal, welcomed home with a round of applause by parents, friends and club mates. In addition, the first three boys and girls in the junior mile and the first three men and women in the 5K were presented with a trophy.
This all happened before runners and spectators socialised afterwards, enjoying some burgers, hot dogs and drinks in each other’s company.
Club vests were out on show from the local clubs of Llanelli AC, Amman Valley Harriers, Carmarthen Harriers, Trots and Sarn Helen. Junior mile children were representing Ysgol Llangadog, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Ysgol Llangynnwr, Llandeilo CP, Ysgol Llandybie, Ysgol Brynaman, Ysgol Teilo Sant, Ysgol Ffairfach, Ysgol Gymraeg Rhydaman, Ysgol Nantgaredig and Ysgol Parcyrhun. Several Unattached athletes also got involved at their first appearance at a running event on Friday evening.
Two course records were broken in 2019 and both in the male categories. Macsen Toogood took nine seconds off his own time recorded in 2018 of 5 minutes 7 seconds, whilst David Keenan’s winning time of 16:59 in the 5K was sixteen seconds faster than 12 months ago.
Junior Mile – Boys: 1 Macsen Toogood (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:07; 2 William Coles (Ysgol Llangadog/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:25; 3 Charlie Price (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:47
Junior Mile – Girls: 1 Esme Lynock (Ysgol Llangadog/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:06:17; 2 Grace Toogood (Ysgol Teilo Sant/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:06:43; 3 Fflur Jones (Ysgol Llangadog) 00:07:18
5K – Men: 1 David Keenan (Llanelli AC) 00:16:59; 2 Matt Yelland (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:18:59; 3 Andy Mccall (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:19:00
5K – Women: 1 Wendy Price (Carmarthen Harriers) 00:20:09; 2 Elizabeth Tremlett (Carmarthen Harriers) 00:20:30; 3 Noami Williams (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:22:48
The event by now is annual and it is expected to attract big numbers when 2020 comes around.
Organised superbly and efficiently by Amman Valley Harriers’ Clara Davies, she thanked all the volunteers, runners and supporters alike who turned out to support the event and help raise money for a great cause.
Borderers hold on to beat Pembroke
Pembroke 24-25 Whitland
A LATE missed conversion saw Whitland take the spoils from an entertaining Pembrokeshire-derby with Pembroke on Saturday (Sept 14).
Pembroke drew 25-25 in Aberystwyth in their first game in League 1 West the previous week and they knew they would face another tough test against a strong Whitland pack.
The home side started the better of the two as they pulled their opponents around the park before scoring their first try of the game.
19-year-old Tom Harding-Jones picked up the ball from the backs and beat a couple of defenders to touch down. Toby Smith added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
They scored again soon after as Harding-Jones took a long pass from Smith before diving over in the corner. Smith missed the conversion.
Whitland were then given a penalty try as Pembroke were adjudged to have collapsed a driving maul, bringing the score back to 12-7.
Pembroke lost Lloyd Davies to a yellow card as a result of that and shortly before the break Whitland scored again through Jac Howells to bring the scores level.
It remained level at half time but Whitland went ahead early in the second half when Nico Setaro scored a penalty.
Pembroke then hit back as Sean Dalling went over on the right hand side and Smith then converted to make it 19-15 to the home side.
The Borderers then went ahead with an unconverted try that was scored by Marc Jones.
The home side then began to dominate as they looked to retake the lead but a loose pass saw Whitland kick ahead and it was Gino Setaro who won the race to the ball to touch down and increase their lead. The conversion was missed and the score remained 19-25.
With time running out Jordan Evans, on as a second half sub, picked up the ball from the scrum and ran 15 metres to score.
Smith faced a difficult conversion from out wide and was just unable to get the ball through.
It meant the score stayed at 24-25 and try as they might they were unable to find a late score which would have won the game.
Whitland held on for a thrilling win but Pembroke were left ‘gutted’ that they didn’t quite pick up the win.
Despite the result, Pembroke Head Coach Geraint Lewis was pleased with his squad which featured a number of young players adding that they had competed well with two good sides in their opening games of the season.
Kia’ kit out Calsonic U16s
GRAVELLS KIA KIDWELLY has gifted branded kit to a local football team, Calsonic Kansei U16s, as part of Kia Motors (UK) Ltd’s nationwide ‘Gift of Kit’ initiative which aims to support local grassroots football teams across the UK.
The new kit aims to help local players stand out on the pitch and since the initiative started, Kia has seen fantastic results for the local teams with 121 dealerships providing over 3,470 sets of kit to 129 football clubs and 127 cricket clubs across the nation.
Wyn Edwards, one of the coaches of Calsonic U16s commented; “We can’t thank Gravells Kia Kidwelly enough for helping this newly formed team feel professional in their new kit. We are hoping it will inspire them to perform well this season.”
Jonathan Gravell, General Manager of the Gravells Group said: “We are thrilled to be supporting Calsonic U16s. Playing in their new kit will be a great boost to them and their supporters. As a local business, we are passionate about giving back to our community and we look forward to seeing how the team performs.”
For more information about Kia’s ‘Gift of Kit’ initiative and to find out how you can get involved with future projects, please visit www.kiagiftofkit.co.uk/club.
You can also stop by Gravells Kidwelly SA17 4TF or call the team on 01554 890436 to find out what’s coming up in your area.
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